First National Bank of Namibia (FNB) will continue to roll out better products that will make banking accessible to the generality of Namibians and will also continue aligning their operations to fit in the development of the country newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Sarel Van Zyl has said.
Van Zyl told our sister paper Prime Focus that although the bank has done tremendously well to cement its footprint in the country for the past 100 years there is need to keep improving innovation in the sector and stay ahead of the trends.
“I have been out of the country for the last four years so I had to catch up with how the business has changed over the last four years, and also the changes in the economy new focus areas, obviously we are getting a new government so it’s also to line close to government and understand where are the pressing points were future development is coming from and make sure as business we continue in line with it,” he says.
He adds that FNB has been very successful in their operations adding that the previous CEO also did a reasonable job to move the bank forward. He believes that the bank needs to continue improving their recruitment in a bid to improve their succession plan.
“I think in SME financing we can do more as we have segmented the market quite well. we have created a lot of focus in the consumer segment, business segment the large cooperate segment, so specifically in the business segment there is a lot of development taking place and we can play a bigger role in the SME business.
“We are busy establishing the RNB brand as part of the FNB holdings group, the team has settled in well we have recruited already and there is a lot of opportunities. The other area that we think we can do better is introducing other cheaper ways to use in case of banking there are many products we supply and we make sure they are all secure and safe when using them, people don’t have to worry about money getting lost, or stolen so I think in my greeting consumers to the electronic channel is a big opportunity it creates capacity in the branches for the businesses because businesses need to go to the banks to do their banking or transfers,” he said.
He notes that chief among the bank’s priorities is to continue improving efficiency and also service delivery, “We have the opportunity in the market and I think lastly every time it needs efficiency process we have started a process already by finding how we can become more efficient. We have also looked at why we still have paper banks statements at a time when even the city of Windhoek is giving you the option to send an email statement of your account. Interaction with the government is also important to us. In south Africa there is a lot of things that the bank is starting to do with the government and helping them becoming an extension of government, people can pay their speed fines through the bank network don’t have to queue at the traffic office, I think there is a lot of collaboration opportunities,” he said.
He added that, “I think in Namibia we provide a wide range of products and services to our country, what we are probably not doing well enough is promoting what we can do. I worked in Zambia for instance I thing we are the top business in Africa.”
He also argues that the bank has also moved drastically to ikprove its footprints in the country.
“It’s a bank with the biggest branches footprints, we have 52 throughout Namibia. we cannot just build a bank if the bank can’t make a profit where it is so there are new areas developing and when a new opportunity comes up we will put building into consideration e.g khorixas, there have been commercial activities recently we don’t build banks for consumers we build branches for.”
Van Zyl also added that the bank plans to continue pushing its growth prospects in the future. This he believes we do well in driving financial inclusion.
“We will continue to bring the latest technology, latest solutions to our customers, it is important that we get to a point that we also give back more to the customers and that’s what we currently doing in terms of giving back the fees and commissions,” he said.