FNB Keetmanshoop celebrates 100 years

The Keetmanshoop branch of First National Bank will turn 100-years-old on Monday, August 31. Branch Manager, Gert Smit, says the staff is extremely excited about the milestone and invites all Keetmanshoopers to join them in celebrating this centenary.

Smit delved into the history of his branch a bit: “In 1915 Keetmanshoop National Bank was the first and only bank in town. Despite this the bank showed a loss for three consecutive years. The branch was manned in those years by two staff members, Mr S.G. Richards and his accountant Mr O. Rascher.

“The train, later dubbed the ‘Bank Special’ left De Aar for the newly acquired territory of South West Africa on August 14, 1915. On board were 15 bank officials, seven of whom were from National Bank, which focused on the largest settlements of Luderitz – where it arrived on August 19 – as well as Windhoek and Swakopmund on August 23 and Keetmanshoop, which was started operating from rented premises on August 31.

Smit adds that the branch has come a long way since those days. In May 2007, after a N$1,9 million facelift the new branch was opened. Today the branch employs 22 staff members and plays a major role in the economy of the town. The branch will have soon seven ATMs under its management at the town in aid of bringing banking services to the people and enabling self-service banking, no matter where in Keetmanshoop.

Smit also stated that he and the staff of FNB Keetmanshoop are very excited to be part of the bank’s rich history. “To be part of this branch at this particular time is an honour for all of us who work and bank here, as we play an integral part at this time at the beginning of the next 100 years. We see ourselves as the ignition to a great beginning of our second centenary of banking in Keetmanshoop”.