Bank Gaborone promotes saving culture

Andre Barnard
Andre Barnard

Concerned by the country’s low saving culture, Bank Gaborone has embarked on a mission to encourage savings as a lifestyle, in an effort to enhance better financial management by Batswana.

Statistics show that although earnings in Botswana are better than other Sub-Saharan countries, the level of personal savings is still considerably low.

The country’s gross domestic savings was last measured at 37.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Factors such as unattractive interest rates and lower disposable incomes have always been cited as influencing factors in the lower savings culture.

Briefing the media last week,  Bank Gaborone Managing Director André Barnard stated that financial prudence, temperance and self-control are keys to financial freedom.

“We believe it is our responsibility as a bank to assist our customers to achieve financial freedom by creating and offering them products that meet their needs and enable them to provide for their desires,” he said.

He noted that Bank Gaborone has heeded the call for banks to encourage individual savings, adding that the bank’s product development team has developed two savings accounts, Ipeele Savings and SureSave, which were designed to promote a culture of saving.  With these accounts, Barnard said clients can diversify their options for saving money, adding that savings are a good for the proverbial rainy day.

He also explained that instead of taking a loan for a deposit for a home loan, a nice holiday with family, wedding or anniversary or the little extra funds for college for children, it is better to save for these occasions.

“The key is to avoid instant gratification which credit may provide. All one needs to do is forget that you have a savings account for a few years and you will be surprised what you find in your savings account with the good interest we have added to your account over time,” he said.

Barnard indicated that Bank Gaborone interest rates are very competitive and that they recognise that the interest offered on savings accounts is an influencing factor in the decision to save hence they offer the best returns possible.

“We also believe that culture is best developed at a younger age. That is why we introduced Wiz, an account that not only teaches children the principles of banking but seeks to teach and encourage them to save,” he said.

With a market capitalisation of P28 million, Bank Gaborone has grown to an organisation with seven branches, 11 BG Finance outlets, 20 ATMs, electronic channels including internet and mobile banking and a capital base of about P238 million.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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