Stanbic Bank Botswana, a subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group of South Africa, which is one of the largest banks in the continant, this week opened another high class branch in Kgale, The Kgale branch.
Dennis Kennedy, Stanbic Bank Botswana Managing Director, said that with this branch, Stanbic Botswana wished to send a message of quality to their customers, adding that the branch reflected their quality commitment. Kennedy also revealed that they had rolled out 60 ATMs across the entire country.
According to Kennedy, Botswana is going into a very strong period of economic growth and Stanbic, as a bank, is committed to support that growth with three new branches which will be opened next year. “Our ATM and ATM network will also be expanded with further country wide representation during 2008,” he stated.
As the largest bank in Africa, Kennedy announced that Stanbic is very excited about the recent announcement that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) had purchased a 20 percent stake in Standard Bank Holding Company for USD 5,6 billion. “This represents the largest ever investment of any kind, by a major Chinese institution in the history of that country. It amounts to a massive vote of confidence in Africa because our representation with banks operating in 18 African countries is a critical element of the transaction.
In his remarks, Duncan Mlazi, the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, pointed out that Botswana’s banking sector is developing rapidly amid growing competition within and outside the sector. Mlazie said that it was gratifying to note that Stanbic Bank is well poised to confront the challenges and opportunities presented by today’s competitive banking industry. “The challenges include the need to offer innovative solutions to meet the demands of our increasingly sophisticated customers,” he explained.
Mlazie pointed out that banking is all about trust, safety of the customers’ money and service to customers, adding that any investment must be equally supported by investment in the people who serve the customers. He said the customers of any bank deserve quality service and must demand top quality service from their bank. “I’m confident that Stanbic will remain focused on the basics of good service and ensure that its customers receive outstanding and caring service from the bank,” he stated.
The Minister pointed out that, over the years, the Government came up with initiatives aimed at strengthening the financial sector. To this end, he announced that the Government is in the process of drafting legislation with the aim of strengthening its capability to fight money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.
He also disclosed that the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority Bill, which was approved by the government last December, is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
“Several pieces of legislation are currently under review with a view to achieving compatibility among them, as well as bring them in line with regional and international standards,” he announced.
On the international scene, Mlazie said that the growth of Standard Bank had been impressive. He announced that in the past seven years, the bank made investments in Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique and Botswana.
“As you may be aware, Stanbic Bank Botswana bought Investec Private Bank for P92 million in 2004,” he stated.
He said that there had been a USD 600 million investment to acquire control of a bank in Nigeria and there is currently a further investment into a major bank in Kenya.
“Clearly Africa is of strategic importance to Stanbic Bank and these investments show the level of commitment of this bank to this continent as it is playing a pivotal role in the African renaissance,” Mlazie said.
He called upon the business community and the entire population of Gaborone and beyond to patronize the bank branch in order to access funds and improve their welfare.