Opportunity Bank of Malawi (OBM) has embarked on several service reforms that include reducing serving customers using brick and mortar structures, a development that will see some of its branches closed
down, with some of its staff also retrenched.
The affected branches include Fatima, Nsanje and Chitipa. OBM has 630 employees on its payroll.
Responding to an emailed questionnaire today, OBM deputy chief executive officer Bernard Mkandawire said the bank will instead focus on using Agency banking and mobile vans to serve its customers.
Said Mkandawire: “The bank is now in the process of consulting staff in the affected branches. Some branches will be closed as the bank focuses from bricks to clucks. Alternative delivery channels like
agent banking and mobile vans will also be used as we streamline our operations.
“The bank is looking at delivering a better service to our customers in a different but efficient and convenient way. We cannot rule out staff retrenchments in the process but for now, focus is on
He indicated that the bank has been making losses and management is constantly looking at building a sustainable bank for their staff and for clients.
Mkandawire however could not give the number of members of staff to be affected by the process, insisting it will be known after the consultation process has been completed. In another development, the reserve bank of Malawi is yet to finalise a share purchase agreement between Opportunity International Bank
Global and MyBucks Group, locally known as GetBucks.
The deal which was entered in November last year, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval by the Reserve Bank of Malawi. Chief Banking Operations Director for Opportunity International Bank Global and also OBM Board Member, Frazer Hume was quoted in the media recently as saying the bank will be a minority shareholder in MyBucks Group, a Luxembourg-based
financial technology (fintech) company which holds the three brands GetBucks, GetSure and GetBanked.
According to Hume, this partnership marks the first time a Fintech company has acquired banks to bridge the gap between the virtual and traditional worlds of banking to enable faster, more efficient and less expensive to financial services for clients.