Banks comply with directive on cash deposits
Windhoek –The directive which requires the banks to have such practice in place as of March 31, 2015 has prompted the local banks to move quickly.
Standard Bank of Namibia Head of Personal and Business Banking, Baronice Hans said the bank welcomed the initiative as it will not just benefit the customers but the banks as well.
“This is indeed good news for our banking clients and more especially for encouraging more Namibians to open bank accounts. The scrapping of deposit fees will encourage more people to save their money in the bank, leading to financial inclusion,” she said.
First National Bank of Namibia (FNB) Corporate Communications Officer, Vicky Muranda said the requirement would improve financial inclusion in Namibia and is one of the many measures they are planning to introduce over the next couple of years.
“Affective 31 March 2015, all cash deposits done by all individuals and those businesses with a turnover of less than N$1,000,000 will have no deposit fees,” she said.
Bank Windhoek Manager of Business Development (Traditional Banking Channels) Bokkie Cloete said although there will be zero cash handling fee benefits for all individual clients, as well as business clients, business clients will however have to prove that their turnover is lower than N$1 million in order to be exempted.
“Banking fees and charges are cited as one of the reasons why some Namibians do not have bank accounts.
With the waiving of cash deposit fees for all individual clients, Bank Windhoek believes that more people will now open bank accounts and enjoy the benefits that come with the access to financial services and products.
“The zero cash handling fee will also benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with a turnover of less than N$1 million as a means of supporting and assisting these start-up businesses,” said Cloete.
Meanwhile, Bank of Namibia Strategic Communications and Financial Sector Development Manager, Ndangi Katoma said the Bank of Namibia’s standards for a basic bank account and cash deposit fees within the National Payment System was first issued in 2013.
He said this was part of reform measures to facilitate access to banking.
“The set standards for cash deposit fees were revised during 2014 and reiterated the previously implemented minimum standards with which a Basic Bank Account must comply. The revised standards for cash deposit fees were developed by the Bank of Namibia in consultation with the banking industry and were gazetted in 2014,” he said.
He also said that the complete removal of cash deposit fees from accounts without any limitation will make financial services and products more affordable and accessible to Namibians both individuals and businesses with an annual turnover of N$1 million or less.
“This is done to achieve the goal of financial inclusion set in the Namibian Financial Sector Strategy.
The Bank of Namibia commends the banking institutions who already removed these cash deposit fees before the set deadline of 31 March 2015.
The Bank of Namibia will monitor the implementation of this requirement as part of its normal compliance programme for banking institutions,” he said. This is just one of the measures that the Bank of Namibia will be introducing in the banking sector while, according to Katoma, a study being conducted by BoN and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is at an advanced stage to make the bank fees and charges more transparent.
The move could see a reduction on transaction charges in the future.