As part of Standard Chartered Bank’s commitment to provide high quality products and services to its customers, the bank inaugurated a state-of-the art new branch located at Airport junction Mall.
The new branch, which is the Bank’s 14th fully fledged branch and 18th outlet in the country, is expected to breathe life into the SME sector.
“SME segment is an important priority for the bank and the new branch will be offering SME banking,” said Duncan Woods, head of Consumer Banking Botswana and cluster head of Consumer Banking for Southern Africa.
SMEs play a critical role in the country’s economic development activities. Almost 90 percent of registered business in Botswana are comprised of smmes with a GDP contribution of 42 percent in 2008 but has currently fallen down to 38 percent. The sector employs over 300,000 people across the country, formally and informally.
The bank currently offers an SME Straight 2 Bank facility, which is a cash management solution that uses online banking as a platform to give customers more convenience. However the bank looks forward to introducing more and attractive SME packages in the near future.
“We have a good SME business in Botswana and we have big aspirations for this sector,” said Woods.
He added that it is one great area where the bank can make impact because they have the expertise. The bank has substantial experience financing the SME sector in other markets, and we intend to combine global expertise with the knowledge of this market to bring the most advanced solutions.
“We understand the challenges faced by sme and recognize the importance the segment plays in spurring economic activity and growth,” he said.
The branch offers personal, excel, priority and sme banking. The Bank offers touch screen 24hr ATM through which a broad range of transactions can be undertaken, including cash withdrawals, bill payments, funds transfer, cheque book requests and balance enquiry.
Standard Chartered Bank CEO, Moatlhodi Lekaukau, said they were excited about the new branch and look forward to serving their customers and the community even better through this facility.
“We will continue to invest and look forward to investing more in the market,” he said.
The Bank has been actively expanding its branch network as part of its customer-centric approach, offering enhanced services and facilities in response to local demand.
He noted that wholesale banking is also a very significant part of Standard Chartered business.
“We intend to expand our customer base in this platform, we will bring the right financing and risk management solutions as well as providing appropriate cash management and trade finance that suit their requirements,” he said.
Standard Chartered Bank is one of few institutions in Botswana offering competitive terms for invoice discounting and purchase order financing, which allows customers greater flexibility in meeting their business obligations.
“We have aggressive growth strategy which is centered on bringing banking to clients in the best form that will meet their needs,” said Lekaukau, adding that the investment illustrates the strength of business and willingness to continue investing in the market.