New unnamed bank sets sight on Namibia
> Jonas Eiseb
Windhoek – An unnamed bank has expressed interest in Namibia, according to the Bank of Namibia (BoN) bringing the total number of provisional licenses to be issued to three since 2014.
Angolan Banco Europa Atlantico, SPA and Botswana based Letshego Holdings got provisional banking licenses in 2014.
Speaking to The Southern Times recently, the BoN’s Director of Communications and Financial Sector Development Ndangi Katoma indicated that the yet to be named prospective banking group was eyeing the Namibian market.
“The Bank of Namibia has received another bank license application.
Unfortunately, the Bank cannot divulge the name of the applicant due to the sensitive and strategic nature of such applications and will only be in position to reveal the name of the applicant when all the due diligence processes have been concluded,” Katoma said.
On the issue of the provisional licenses awarded to Letshego and Banco Atlantico, Katoma said: “The provisional licenses issued in 2014 are still valid.
This is because due to the technical difficulties that were experienced in setting up such prospective banks, the applicants requested extension of such provisional licenses, which was granted by the Bank of Namibia.”
According to Katoma, all prospective bank license applicants are expected to become operationally ready, before being issued with a final bank or branch license.
In order to establish the operational readiness of such applicants or provisional licenses holders, the Bank of Namibia will generally conduct what is termed a pre-opening inspection.
This takes place after notification is given by these holders to go and assess their operational readiness.
Katoma emphasised that: “If the Bank of Namibia determined that they have not satisfied the pre-opening requirements, the Bank of Namibia may provide them with certain timelines within which they have to meet those standards.”
In 2014, Trustco Group International acquired the now defunct Fides Bank Namibia becoming the fifth bank before EBank also later joined the Namibian banking sector.