Sunday, November 29, 2020

NDB in realignment exercise as it braces for commercialization

The privatization and commercialization of the National Development Bank (NDB) will finally allow it to acquire a banking license and provide a wide range of products and services with a lot of efficiencies that will add more stakeholder value.

This was revealed by NDB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lorato Morapedi, in an interview with Sunday Standard recently. She said NDB will continue to support community values with a strong focus on agriculture to enhance food security, entrepreneurship for the growth of SMME’s as well as rural development.

“We want to continue being perceived as your number one development financial partner and the people’s bank. We want to be seen as your first point of call especially in the agricultural sector,” she said.
The bank has adopted a robust strategy which allows them to dig deeper in understanding what the clients are going through and manage relationships better to curb emerging risks well in time. Through the structure realignment exercise, NDB has been able to appoint sector specific relationship managers and a dedicated monitoring unit to push the new strategy.

“I am guiding the bank to ‘master the basics’ as we prepare ourselves to compete in a commercial environment and achieve high results,” said Morapedi.

The NDB CEO highlighted that some of the noticeable achievements which are still ongoing include alignment of processes and systems which has seen the implementation of a new integrated banking system. She also said completion of the structure re-alignment exercise has ensured that the bank has the right skills and competencies and the right people on the right roles to respond to market and stakeholder needs. Morapedi said they enforced a high performing culture, which has greatly improved turnaround times.

She revealed that re-branding of the bank, which is to be completed in the next few months, will elevate the NDB brand and enable it to reclaim its position in the banking industry.

“We have improved customer satisfaction and immediately noted increasing satisfaction levels rising above 70 percent in our periodic dipstick surveys. A national market stakeholder satisfaction survey is currently being conducted to ascertain satisfaction levels,” said Morapedi.

Staff satisfaction levels have also been improving in the dipsticks survey as there is now a strong sense of alignment.

Morapedi said NDB took a deliberate focus on agriculture to support government’s agenda on food security, which has contributed significantly to the growth of its loan book. She said investment in agriculture currently constitutes 47 percent of the bank’s total loan book, while investment in mortgage and property constitute 33 percent.

“This demonstrates the bank’s commitment to empowering Batswana, individuals or businesses to own property,” she said.

“NDB is going through an exciting transformation and promise the nation an interesting outfit. Privatization and commercialization is going to unlock true stakeholder value. I will like to appeal to Batswana and potential investors to be ready to actively participate in ownership of the bank as it prepares for listing in the stock exchange,” said Morapedi.

She insists that NDB listens to the voices of various stakeholders and aligns its service and product offering to their expectations. She pointed out that they have a stakeholder engagement framework in place which prescribes who to engage, consult, inform, collaborate and involve at what specific times in the various operational and strategic initiatives they undertake as a bank.

“We are currently governed by the Transition Bill which defines the scope of financial services the bank can offer. The move to a commercial entity will assist in overcoming some of these constraints or challenges,” said Morapedi.

She also recognized the unwavering support she gets from the Board of Directors, Ministry of Finance and Development and NDB who have helped her to steer the bank is the right direction.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.