Bank of Botswana (BOB) Governor Moses Pelaelo has appreciated the First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) for their impact in the economy of this country.
Speaking at the official opening of the Shakawe FNBB Branch on Monday, Pelaelo highlighted that the bank directly employs 1 402 people adding that it has also developed many people in the leadership positions in other financial institutions as well as other sectors of the economy.
He added that a further demonstration of the bank’s connection to economic activity is the rapid growth in deposit mobilization and assets. According to him, the bank’s customer deposits grew from P12.7 billion in 2012 to P 21.6 billion in 2022 while its total assets increased from P15.3 billion to P28.2 billion between 2012 and 2022.
“The bank in 2001 established the FNB Foundation to execute corporate social responsibility and up to date, the Foundation has committed P71 million towards uplifting and changing the lives of the many less privileged members of our society,” he said.
According to him, these include the refurbishment of a community park in Gaborone, contribution amounting to P25 million to charities between 2016 and 2021, and provision of funding to youth start-up companies in 15 partnership with the Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub.
The Governor further appreciated the bank for having found it necessary to establish a physical presence and include the sparsely populated areas such as the Okavango region as a way to accelerate Botswana’s economic growth and achieve high-income status by 2036.
The branch is the 24th in the country, complemented by 243 automated teller machines (ATMs), 1 214 425 point of sale machines and 1 014 cash plus agents countrywide.
Pelaelo said the opening of the branch will contributes to trade and economic development by continuing to support the development aspirations of the country through promoting financial inclusion, offering of a wide variety of banking products and facilitating digitalization.
He has since urged members of the public to embrace banking services to improve their welfare and in a secure manner as they traverse the digital banking landscape that represents significant progress enabled by government, regulators and the market for consumer participation.
According to him, the latest financial inclusion indicators shows that 68 percent of the adult population in Botswana has access to formal financial services and a further 8 percent uses informal services while 24 percent are totally excluded as a results of lower levels of income earning opportunities and income inequality rates.
Meanwhile, the FNBB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steven Bogatsu said the Shakawe Branch marks a significant milestone in their commitment to offering accessible banking throughout the country. He added that with its digital banking and self-service suite, they will provide customers with a more enhanced banking experience.
Bogatsu appreciated the community of Shakawe for building the branch together and help delivering on their promise of investing in the communities and enabling innovation and citizen empowerment therefore he promised and committed to making a positive impact in the communities.
For his part Kgosi Lekgowa Lekgowa of Shakawe acknowledged the presence of FNBB in his village and asked the company to help them develop the village by sponsoring sports and cultural activities highlighting the Mohembo Bridge Marathon or the Mohembo Bridge Park.
“Like you do sponsor such in other places please feel free to invest and take part in any project here so that together we can grow not only Shakawe but the Okavango district at large,” he pleaded.