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EBank goes from retail to real banking

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.”

About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 28 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at www.economist.com.na. It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. Daniel Steinmann is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He regularly helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to daniel@economist.com.na