Outgoing Barclays Bank Botswana acting Managing Director, Aupa Monyatsi, counts himself as one of the first lucky beneficiaries of the One Africa Strategy in view of his next job at the Barclays Africa Regional Office as Head of Customer Network for Retail and Business Banking overseeing the 12 markets across Africa.
“Expectations become opportunities when you have a good team that you work with, I am fortunate with the team I have and the delight of our various stakeholders,” said Monyatsi.┬á
He said his main priorities when appointed to head the bank locally were colleague engagement, creating a sustainable commercial strategy as well as repositioning the bank to restore investor confidence.
Monyatsi spoke about his ambition of creating a sustainable commercial strategy via a five year plan that would make Barclays a one stop bank in Botswana.
He pointed out that the bank’s engagement with external stakeholders such as government and regulators proved that Barclays was a role model financial institution that abides by all laws.
“There is no doubt that across Botswana Barclays has a helping hand in the localities it operates under citizenship banner, in fact we are available in 10 locations where no other commercial bank is available and that is expensive,” he observed.
Monyatsi admitted that when he was appointed as acting MD in March 2012, the banking industry was going through a rough patch especially Barclays bank which was not doing well locally and globally, adding that the staff felt that they were disengaged.
“We have invested in new digital channels that give our customers the convenience to interact with Barclays.┬á Importantly we have aligned our bank with national development plans of the country by playing an active role in the economic diversification in the country,” he stated.
“There are market dynamics competition is tough which is a good thing for a consumer and it also helps banks to come up with innovative products. We have lost our customers to our competitors. It was a wakeup call for us here in Barclays Botswana,” he added, commenting on challenges faced.
Regarding the rough patch that affected the bank’s financial position, Monyatsi said in 2012, the bank management engaged the board to define key priorities for the five year plan as a way of turning around the business to make it more profitable. He added that this was centred on rebalancing the bank’s balance sheet to have more secured assets.
He also spoke about the bank’s progress in their innovations and products such as the introduction of new intelligent ATMs, which will have other new functionality in the ATMs.
“Recently we have made tie-ups with Botswana Post for purchasing prepaid electricity on one’s cell phone and it is a big relief for consumers across the market,” he said.
He expressed satisfactory on the newly introduced product motshelo account adding that it looks at socio-economic landscape of Botswana. He said the product won the Barclays internal awards in the UK as the most innovative citizenship product in the entire Barclays group.