Standard Chartered Bank, the oldest bank in the country, will close two of its branches next month after previously denying such move. This week, the bank which is under Mpho Masupe said Mochudi and Orapa branches will close on the 3rd and 15th of August respectively. Mochudi branches will move its services to nearby Mowana Park in the leafy Phakalane suburb. On the other hand, Orapa will move its services to Letlhakane branch.
The bank which has been posting declining profits in recent years, said customers can still use digital banking platforms to access services or nearest branches. The bank has not stated if the closure of the two branches will affect its employees who were based at the above stations. Internationally, the bank has also been closing branches in a turnaround strategy aimed at improving profitability. The company which is headed by Bill Winters is listed headquartered in London.
Meanwhile, the local subsidiary, which is 121 year old, added it is still committed to the country’s banking needs. The bank, which is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), has been under pressure to up its profits due to industry liquidity, increased competition, and weak economy among others.
For the year to December 2017, the bank posted a record loss of P189 million. ‘The group had a challenging financial year attributable to constrained revenue growth, a significant loan impairment charge on one client and increase in costs. Interest rates remained low in 2017, further strained by a reduction in the bank rate and negatively impacting margins,” said the company in its financial statements signed by Chairperson, Prof Bojosi Otlhogile and Masupe. The company has also been affected by the mining sector which has been exposed to a plunge. Despite declining profits, the company’s head honchos insist the business fundamentals are intact.