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Unnecessary referrals cripple subsidiaries

02 Apr 2023

Access Bank Botswana authorities have been challenged to make business decisions such as core-banking services, credit extension and treasury in Botswana using the country based information without undue referral to headquarters in Lagos.

Speaking during the bank’s brand entrenchment in Gaborone on Thursday, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane said unnecessary referrals denied the domestic subsidiaries a chance to move timely and proactively on business decisions that could grow the bank and enable it to compete favourably in the domestic market.

He said while it was acknowledged that a parent bank had the responsibility to make major policy decisions affecting the group, it was crucial that within a hierarchical structure, day-to-day operations of a subsidiary bank be made in the host country and not routinely referred to a regional office or headquarters abroad.

“In this regard, it is the local board and management that the Botswana authorities hold accountable for the safe and sound operations of the bank.

Nonetheless, Mr Tsogwane applauded Access Bank for setting up in Botswana, saying the financial services sector played a crucial role in enabling economic development.

He said the coming of the bank had also quickly capitalised on the skills in Botswana as evidenced by the appointment of several citizens into critical regional positions.


“This is a clear signal that Batswana are indeed capable and a positive factor that should be considered by other foreign direct investors,” he said.

He encouraged the bank to invest in staff development and training given the country’s small pool of bankers and said banks should not rely on mutual poaching of staff as that could not be a viable and sustainable means of acquiring skills.

In keeping with current trends, he said government had embarked on digitalisation and financial inclusion to facilitate a conducive environment for the private sector, especially the banks to participate in accelerating the achievements of these efforts.

He further said government was committed to creating an environment that allowed well-meaning financial services to entities such as Access Bank to contribute to the growth and wellbeing of the country, reasonable financial gains and job creation.

Mr Tsogwane applauded Access Bank for having increased its ATM footprint from 15 to 58 and adding six new points of presence with two more coming up soon.

This, he said, was also coupled with the bank’s willingness to work with other partners by providing many visa cards that allowed many to use mobile wallets in a manner similar to bank accounts or by innovating with others like Orange Botswana to introduce the mini loan service such as N’stakolle.

For her part, Access Bank board chairperson, Ms Lorato Mosetlhanyane said the bank’s growth was proof of what happens when strategy meets execution. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Aubrey Maswabi

Location : Gaborone

Event : Brand Entrenchment

Date : 02 Apr 2023