Newly-appointed chief executive officer for Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)- listed NBS Bank, Kwanele Ngwenya, says he hopes to make the bank the third biggest in the country through a consolidation and transformation strategy.
Speaking during his media interaction with members of the Association of Business Journalists (ABJ) in Blantyre on Thursday, Ngwenya said that he is now focusing on a better future for NBS Bankwhich is currently lying giant, it being the biggest bank in terms of customer base.
“What we are doing now is profiling and it is not about people losing jobs as it is not our focus but productivity and increasing value for our shareholders. We are now focusing on consolidation as we believe the bank has done everything in its capacity to revamp. Later on, we will be focusing more on transformation, more especially on market penetration and introduction of new products,” he said.
On non-performing loans, Ngwenya said the bank hopes to recover the K1.9 billion it is currently being owed by clients.
“The market is recovering. Interest rates are coming down, there is a lot of economic activity and we are hoping that we should recover a good fare of nonperforming loans in that aspect because the hard times have eased down and we are focusing on collecting as much as we can.
“Our book is well secured; it’s a question of getting people to pay back with the easing of cash flow. In the past couple of months, the interest rates have come down by 500 basis points that means it has put more kwachas in people’s pockets,” said Ngwenya.
The bank, a subsidiary of NICO Holdings Limited, has been struggling to meet the minimum capital requirement per Basel II but also has been making losses for the past two years.
NBS Bank embarked on business plan to differentiate itself on the market, offer customised services and solutions for its customers and deliver value for its stakeholders.
In the year ended December 2016, the bank and its subsidiary, NBS Forex Bureau Limited, reported a loss before tax of K4 billion up from the previous year’s K195 million due to a drop in interest income and sharp increase in other operating expenses.
In his remarks, ABJ secretary Taonga Sabola observed that Ngwenya’s turnaround strategy appears to be practical to take NBS Bank back to where it was. n