• September 23rd, 2020

Covid-19 wreaks havoc on  banking sector

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), the Bank of Namibia, as well as Nedbank Namibia all confirmed positive Covid-19 cases this week. As a result, the banks have implemented measures to keep both their staff and clients safe from the pandemic. 
DBN yesterday confirmed it will alternate staff at its offices to reduce the risk of operational disruption due to Covid-19. This means half of the bank’s staff will work from home and the other half will work from its offices in alternating weeks.

The rotation is designed to ensure the Bank will have continuity in the event of a case of Covid-19 case, and this schedule will be applied at its Windhoek head office and its regional offices in Ongwediva and Rundu. The Bank’s office in Walvis Bay is currently closed and its staff are working from home in self-quarantine after a staff member contracted Covid-19.

Speaking about the rotation, DBN spokesperson Di-Anna Grobler said the move is particularly expected to ensure the continuity of lending to businesses and management and administration of loans; however, all the Bank’s functions will operate on the same system. Grobler encouraged existing borrowers and stakeholders to make use of telephonic contact, virtual meetings and emails, and she asked prospective applicants to call in advance where face-to-face appointments are needed.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Namibia also confirmed a staff member has tested positive for the virus at its Disaster Recovery Site. As a result, the central bank’s Disaster Recovery Site will be closed off for disinfection purposes and partial disinfection will also be done at the head office. 
“The Bank remains dedicated to protecting the wellbeing of its staff members, and the public is urged not to panic, as all necessary measures have been put in place to adhere to health protocols established with regards to Covid-19,” read a statement from the bank’s spokesperson. 
The Bank of Namibia is still operational, and all services, including its public tills, will remain open, as the areas affected by the disinfection process are out-of-bounds to the public. However, organisations that make use of the Bank’s Business Continuity Management facility are advised to temporarily stay away until it is deemed safe. Furthermore, Nedbank Namibia also this week confirmed a member of their Windhoek-based staff tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus.  The affected employee is a member of Nedbank’s Home loan Administrations Department, stationed at their Garten Street premises. 

The employee returned from annual leave on Monday, 27 July 2020, and was in self-isolation since Thursday, 30 July 2020, when she displayed symptoms consistent with Covid-19. The Bank said in a statement that their colleague’s positive test was returned on Wednesday, 5 August 2020. Martha Murorua, Nedbank Namibia’s managing director, said the Bank had implemented all the requisite health and safety measures at its countrywide operations to safeguard the wellbeing of their staff and patrons alike. 

“Our Garten Street office is not a high-client contact area and client visits are scheduled by prior appointment only. We have all the recommended safety measures in place and, therefore, have every confidence that the natural isolation of the area by virtue of the specialised work done at the premises will be beneficial in containing any secondary spread. The premises have been closed off immediately for deep-cleansing and sanitation purposes, and all staff at our Garten Street office will be working from home for the coming days,” said Murorua. The Nedbank managing director added they are supporting the impacted family and are continuing their close liaison with health authorities. “At the start of the pandemic, we have issued all the requisite personal protective equipment to our employees and provided free hand sanitisers and immune boosters as an additional measure to shore up our collective defences against Covid-19. 
Unquestionably, the health and well-being of our staff and clients are at the heart of the decisions we make at Nedbank Namibia, and we wish our colleague all the best throughout the recovery period,” said Murorua. 

Staff Reporter
2020-08-07 11:00:42 | 1 months ago

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