FNB opens new branch in Hlotse

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

FIRST Na­tional Bank (FNB) has pledged to con­tinue open­ing new branches across the coun­try to en­sure the fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion of Ba­sotho.

This was said by FNB Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Martin Knollys dur­ing the of­fi­cial launch of a branch in Hlotse, Leribe on Tues­day. He said the branch was FNB’S eighth in the coun­try since the es­tab­lish­ment of the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion in 2004, and the sec­ond to be opened in Leribe district af­ter the Ma­put­soe branch.

“Our ex­pan­sion roadmap is to have a pres­ence in all the strate­gic places na­tion­wide in line with the fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion strat­egy driven by the Cen­tral Bank of Le­sotho (CBL),” Knollys said.

“We have no doubt that FNB Le­sotho will at­tain this no­ble ob­jec­tive as we are a bank driven by in­no­va­tion and con­ve­nience and are striv­ing for ser­vice ex­cel­lence.”

He said the peo­ple of Leribe could ex­pect su­pe­rior bank­ing so­lu­tions through FNB’S skilled and ded­i­cated team at the Hlotse branch. Mr Knollys fur­ther said the new branch had cre­ated job op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Hlotse com­mu­nity.

“Ladies and gen­tle­man, it must also be noted that this new devel­op­ment has brought other ben­e­fits such as job cre­ation and com­mu­nity devel­op­ment in Hlotse,” he said.

“We will also be fo­cus­ing on a fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy pro­gramme aimed at con­tribut­ing to the build­ing of a fi­nan­cially as­tute and re­spon­si­ble so­ci­ety.”

In her re­marks, CBL Gover­nor Dr Retšelisit­soe Mat­lanyane said the open­ing of the new branch had brought bank­ing ser­vices closer to the Hlotse com­mu­nity.

“I am happy for you, the peo­ple of Hlotse, that FNB de­cided to in­vest a branch in your district. This now means it will be eas­ier for you to ac­cess bank­ing ser­vices,” she said.

Dr Mat­lanyane also im­plored the bank to ful­fil its man­date by up­lift­ing the com­mu­nity with their var­i­ous ser­vices.

“There are ex­pec­ta­tions which you are sup­posed to meet for the com­mu­nity. Th­ese in­clude de­liv­er­ing qual­ity bank­ing ser­vices and friendly as­sis­tance to the peo­ple. It is what the peo­ple ex­pect from you,” she said.

On the com­mu­nity’s part, Dr Mat­lanyane urged them to re­pay the loans they would bor­row from the in­sti­tu­tion, adding that de­fault­ing was tan­ta­mount to shoot­ing them­selves in the foot.

“When lenders don’t re­pay their loans, it be­comes dif­fi­cult for us to per­suade banks to con­tinue giv­ing out loans,” she said.

The CBL chief also urged the com­mu­nity to avoid in­vest­ing their money in un­reg­is­tered money schemes.

“In th­ese hard eco­nomic times, I don’t un­der­stand how you can trust some­one with no proven fi­nan­cial cre­den­tials with your hard­earned monies,” said Dr Mat­lanyane.

“Let us stick to reg­is­tered fi­nan­cial in­sti- tu­tions for in­vest­ing our monies. You can iden­tify them by ver­i­fy­ing with the Cen­tral Bank of Le­sotho.”

For his part, Leribe District Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mokha­belane Mo­ra­hanye said it was dif­fi­cult for the com­mu­nity of Hlotse to ac­cess bank­ing ser­vices prior to the open­ing of the new branch.

“As the Hlotse com­mu­nity, we are very elated with this devel­op­ment which has brought the bank closer to us. It was a chal­lenge for the peo­ple to go to Ma­put­soe for bank­ing ser­vices where it was con­gested and costly,” he said.

FNB CEO Martin Knollys (left) and CBL Gover­nor Dr Retšelisit­soe Mat­lanyane shake hands dur­ing the launch of the branch on Tues­day.

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