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Trustco to expand bank’s footprint

Trustco Group this week concluded a transaction to acquire 100% of FIDES Bank Namibia Limited and said it intends to expand the bank’s operations.
Chairman of the Trustco Group Holdings Ltd Board, Adv. Raymond Heathcote, in a news release, said,“over the short-to-medium term the group intends to grow the bank’s footprint and its client base, whilst continuing to target traditionally unbanked groups and individuals.”
FIDES Bank Namibia is one of six licensed banks in the country and has its headquarters in Ongwediva and owns five other branches in the country.
The bank’s loan portfolio currently consists of over 14,000 borrowers ranging from individuals to small businesses. FIDES’s savings portfolio also includes the deposits of 40,000 individuals.
“Key to the expansion strategy will be the use of technology and the use of mobile banking and alternative service channels combined with traditional infrastructure will be central to the new strategy,” Heathcote said.

Furthermore, the group plans to enhance the bank’s product offering and diversify its geographical points of presence. “Client growth will be achieved by a strategy of leveraging the cross-selling of banking products to Trustco’s considerable existing local client base. Existing and future banking clients can now look forward to being part of exciting and beneficial products in the near future,”he said. “The group will continue with the “financial inclusion” franchise model which is in line with the government’s Financial Sector Strategy. The inclusion model will facilitate greater access to previously excluded groups, individuals and businesses. The bank will formally apply to the Bank of Namibia to change its name to ‘Trustco Bank Namibia’ in due course,” he added.
Strong focus will be on offering financial assistance to local entrepreneurs. Trustco believes that the best strategy to effectively reduce unemployment in the country, is to assist bona fide entrepreneurs to create sustainable profitable businesses.
“We plan to raise additional capital in the market through a combination of debt and equity to improve the bank’s balance sheet and to ensure that the bank is well capitalised. To achieve a broad-based funding book, the aim is to achieve an optimal mix of retail, wholesale, onshore and offshore funding,” Heathcote said.

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