Sunday, October 17, 2021

FNBB top brass shown exit in ‘leadership renewal’

One of the leading commercial banks, the First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) is said to be planning to part ways with a sizeable number of its current executive directors. 

Those close to the recent development cite “revision of the roles and responsibilities of the executive team”.

This week, the bank confirmed the development but could not give details as to what could have necessitated the decision to come up with a proposal calling on their senior executive directors to consider voluntary exit.

The list of the FNBB executive directors leaving the bank include the leadership investment subsidiary, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Botswana Director, RMB Director Coverage, FNB Director Esolutions, and Director Clients Services and are said to have started handing over. 

This development is said to have arose recently during an executive committee meeting called by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steven Bogatsu where he informed the team that he needed to do “leadership renewal” and asked by show of hands who wanted to exit the bank. 

The bank is also expected to part ways with some of its expatriates whose contracts are ending at the end of 2017. 

Other Batswana within the FNB brand subsidiaries both in South Africa and Mozambique are believed to have been groomed to take over key roles back in Botswana.

Both the Board of Directors and Bogatsu are going through negotiations of exit packages of the outgoing directors who mostly served the bank with their banking experiences of over 15 to 20+ years.

When contacted, FNBB Director Marketing and Communications, Obonye Malope, confirmed that FNBB was reviewing the roles and responsibilities performed by some of its executive committee. 

“This is an internal business as usual process between employer and employee; therefore, it cannot be a subject of public discussion,” she said.

She is of the view that the exercise is not tied to any allegations detailed in a recent whistleblower’s report. 

“The process will not impact the bank in delivering on its strategic objectives,” said Malope.

Meanwhile, the process is taking place at a time when FNBB is conducting forensic investigations regarding the recent whistleblower’s report which revealed how some senior managers at the bank are allegedly involved in fraudulent activities and other alleged irregularities. 

The recent media reports on the bank’s whistleblower’s report are also said to have not settled well with the Central Bank, Bank of Botswana, also with FNBB Board of Directors as well as the bank’s superiors at First Rand Bank headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Upon his return from Swaziland in May 2015, Bogatsu started diluting the “old furniture” with the new bankers from across competition, filling executive posts such as Chief Operations Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Director Marketing and Communications as well as Chief Finance Officer.

Going forward, Bogatsu is said to be working around the clock to maintain stability within the bank to retain the bank’s clients and potential clients as well as corporate clients. 

Listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), FNBB is part of the local banking institution which is still slowly recovering from the liquidity crisis experienced in 2014-2015. 

The bank has been successful in countering the strain on liquidity by diversifying its funding sources to optimise its balance sheet. It is also expected to implementing various new processes to comply with changes in the regulatory environment.

However at capital markets, the bank has not been doing so well. In 2016 its share price stood at P3.82 by January, however by December, it had lost 86thebe to end the year trading at P2.96. Fast forward to January 2017 the share price stood at P2.96, still on a downward trajectory. By close of business on 8 June 2017 the company share had lost 21thebe as it traded at P2.75. 

2016                                      2017

January: P3.82                        January: P2.96

December: P2.96                    June: P2.75

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