Letshego Sees Namibia As a Key Territory

THE Botswana-based financial group, Letshego Holdings, which was recently awarded a provisional licence by the central bank sees Namibia as a ‘key territory’ in its expansion progamme.

THE Botswana-based financial group, Letshego Holdings, which was recently awarded a provisional licence by the central bank sees Namibia as a ‘key territory’ in its expansion progamme.

The local subsidiary will operate as Letshego Bank Namibia.

Mythri Sambasivan-George, head of corporate affairs at Letshego, said the company was prompted to invest in Namibia because it was clear to the group that Namibia was one of the key territories in the Letshego group’s expansion into the regional market.

“Our intention is to offer products that are simple and appropriate for our existing and adjacent market segments in a way that assures that the lower income segments will enjoy financial inclusion, freedom and upliftment. Our investment will be commensurate with emerging opportunities in our segments of choice,” she told The Namibian on Monday.

Letshego already has micro finance operations in Namibia with Sambasivan-George saying the current segments that the company cater for are largely the formally employed.

“Our vision is to now build on this by providing extended products to these segments. Also we will be looking to bring in new, previously unserviced markets through an offering that employs innovative channels through which we can access, and be accessed by, new customers,” she said.

Letshego plans to start a roll-out of branches, once it has cleared the requirements to fulfil the provisional licence.

“Our licence has been granted by the Bank of Namibia on condition of certain key activities being satisfied within the ensuing six months, after which we can commence banking operations. We will issue public updates based on progress made as and when appropriate. We remain highly excited as a group about the potential to create a lasting legacy of financial empowerment in Namibia,” Sambasivan-George said.

The central bank also granted a provisional licence to Letshego Bank to Banco Privado Atlantico Europa, SA to establish a branch in Namibia. After six months, the central bank may issue a certificate of authorisation to the two banks to conduct banking business, provided that they satisfactorily fulfilled the readiness requirements before commencing with banking operations.

Atlantico commenced its banking activity in 2006, in Luanda, with the launch of Banco Privado Atlantico, a fully licenced Angolan Bank.

In 2009, Atlantico started its international expansion, establishing, in Lisbon, Banco Privado Atlantico-Europa, a fully licenced Portuguese Bank. The banking operation in Namibia will be a branch of Banco Privado Atlantico-Europa.

Banco says the establishment of a banking operationb in Namibia is part of its strategy to expand its presence in the SADC region.

Source : The Namibian