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Opinion - When Namibians think bank, they mostly think FNB

2022-09-12  Staff Reporter

Opinion - When Namibians think bank, they mostly think FNB

Quinten Potgieter

In a recent independent study of over 1600 banked Namibians, FNB Namibia posted top ratings across categories of top-of-mind awareness and consideration when making financial service decisions.

Participants, randomly selected from the banked population of Namibia, across all banks, comprised professions and jobs from all categories of work, whether currently employed or unemployed; in retail, automotive trade, technology, property, industry, hospitality, SOE’s financial institutions and healthcare.

It was targeting the customers of all banks across the various income groups, as well as commercial business representation from the SME segment to larger commercial entities. The study looked at what customers perceive to be pain points in the process of banking, and what is perceived as useful, meaningful and relevant to the partnership that banks profess to want with customers.

While better bank charges, good service, quick turnaround times and the keeping of promises rates highest from customers across all Namibian banks, the opposite of these is exactly what drives dissatisfaction. Affordable bank charges, competitive rates and convenience and ease of access to services are important to all of us.

While no bank gets it right all the time, studies such as these help FNB Namibia to pinpoint what’s working, and where improvement opportunities exist. As market leader, banking over 650 000 customers of an economically active group of approximately 800 000 Namibians, the commitment and responsibility of FNB Namibia is a real driver of ongoing improvement.

FNB Namibia has long held the position of being ‘the bank of the #changeables’: with the bank winning various innovation and local investment and service awards annually. The basis of these awards is testament to our commitment to continuous improvement. But what do customers really want?

It is true that FNB Namibia supported more businesses and customers through Covid-19. Reduced bank charges, debt consolidation, cashflow loans to businesses, partnership with the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance for credit support to businesses, were quickly and effectively offered to customers of good standing. 

And over the past two years, FirstRand Namibia invested over N$15m in hospital equipment and upgrades, testing centres and vaccinations, and a further N$12m was raised through a coalition of Hope initiative of local partner businesses to address the effects of Covid-19 locally. 

At the same time, N$20m from the FirstRand Group went into CSI capacity-building, welfare support, consumer education, print and digital school curriculum support, environmental health support and low-cost housing projects. This is the meaningful context in which the various brands in the group, FNB, RMB, Ashburton Investments, Pointbreak and Outsurance conduct their daily service to customers.

While any financial institution can be proud of the above #real help initiatives, finding out what customers really think, and what they want, or are looking forward to, is an annual process undertaken by FNB and RMB in Namibia. From face-to-face interviews to telephonic interviews to email responses, feedback from customers is the lifeblood of any business. The monitoring of complaints, reducing time taken to resolve these, and implementation of actions to reduce reoccurrence receive daily attention.

FNB Namibia’s recent Brand Health Survey produced in July 2022 asked Namibians who bank anywhere in the country, at FNB or any other competitor bank, questions on whether customers feel that the banks understand their needs and/or their business, their thoughts on customer experience across banks (very useful feedback from customers who have bank accounts at more than one bank), whether they believed the bank to be honest and ethical in its business dealings with them, whether those who dealt with customers were skilled, had the necessary expertise to have useful conversations, were able to help solve complex challenges for customers, and ultimately, whether they believed that reputationally, their money was in good hands.

We are elated and humbled that from all the participants in the survey, FNB stood as the market leader. With this comes the responsibility of building on our afforded reputation, a task we take seriously as we continue to delight our customers.


*Quinten Potgieter is the Customer Strategy Manager at FNB Namibia. 

2022-09-12  Staff Reporter

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