EBank goes from retail to real banking
19 December 2016 – FNB Namibia Holdings recently announced the intention to purchase PointBreak Holdings, which includes the EBank solution for financial inclusion and transactional convenience via retailers, and investment management expertise and wealth management via the well known PointBreak team.
While the sale is currently subject to various regulatory approvals with final outcomes due only early next year, individuals from either side of the deal have expressed excitement at the expanded opportunities for both customers and employees of the intended end-to-end financial offering the deal presents.
FNB Namibia’s Executive Officer Points of Presence, Steve Coetzee, is ultimately responsible for integrating PointBreak into the FNB behemoth. He is no stranger to acquisitions as he was closely involved with the 2003 take-over of Swabou by FNB.
Said Coetzee “Acquisitions are a business decision and never taken lightly as they need to benefit the business, customers and employees and was the case with Swabou. After thr acquisition good positive growth was evident while employment opportunities were plentiful and there was scope for growth up the corporate ladder. For us acquisitions mean that we are able to offer the customers a wider range of products and services while employees will join a brand that is more than 100 years old and offers a myriad opportunities.”
Swabou, he said, had a very strong home loan book as well as savings and investments while FNB Namibia could offer even more banking options, including online banking, which was not the case with SWABOU at that point in time. “Of course the acquisition meant that we strengthened our home loan book tremendously, while being able to offer customers a wide variety of new products and services.
Any acquisition normally creates some fear and apprehension among customers and employees but if the process is open and transparent and looks after the needs of these important stakeholders, it becomes a win-win for all. “There is always a sense of the unknown and people’s understandable reaction is opposition” said Coetzee adding that the most important aspect of any acquisition is the people element and in this case the employees. “I firmly believe that while the systems, the price, products and services play a role, employees and how their needs are handled can make or break an acquisition. People are the backbone of any organization and we earned good experience from Swabou to ensure that we land people softly and comfortably in their new role. It is vitally important that they feel part and parcel of the new entity.”