By Brian Katjaerua, Bankers Association of Namibia Chief Executive Officer
1. About the Bankers Association of Namibia
The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) was established in 1997 and incorporated as a non-profit association under section 21 of the Companies Act 28 of 2004 as the representative trade association for the commercial banking sector in the country. BAN deals with non-competitive issues of common interest and significance to the banking industry in Namibia. Banker’s Associations are common in most countries. You will find, for example, a Bankers Association of South Africa, which operates under similar regulations.
The objectives of BAN are to provide a forum:
· To consider policy matters impacting the Namibian banking industry.
· To discuss common concerns and issues.
· To communicate with Government and all the regulators on matters affecting the activities of banks; and
· To serve as a platform where members deal with non-competitive issues of common interest and significance to Namibia’s banking industry.
BAN members are Bank Windhoek Ltd, First National Bank of Namibia Ltd, Nedbank Namibia Ltd, Letshego Namibia Ltd, Trustco Bank Ltd, Bank BIC Ltd, and Standard Bank Namibia Ltd. In terms of the BAN Articles of Association, other financial institutions can also apply to become members. BAN’s membership is, therefore, not limited to traditional banks as we know them.
3. BAN Structure
A Chairperson manages BAN on a rotational basis of its members. Currently, the Chair is Bank Windhoek Limited, assisted by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Brian Katjaerua, whose contact details appear below.
4. Vision, Mission, Values
BAN’s Vision is to contribute to the sustainability of banking and the socio-economic development of Namibia. This Vision deliberately underscores the symbiotic relationship between banking sustainability and the country’s economic growth, as we believe one cannot exist without the other.
BAN’s Mission is to be the forum for the advocacy of matters of policy affecting the banking industry in Namibia and to provide balanced input guided by sustainability, innovation, fairness, financial inclusion and transformation. BAN believes that every policy proposal must be driven by its impact on banks from a sustainability perspective. Inevitably, policy will also affect the country’s economic development. Because banks, through the provision of funding and other value-added services, are at the forefront of the economic development of any country.
BAN believes that every policy proposal must promote and enable innovation in the financial services industry, benefit the consumer, and promote financial inclusion. BAN further believes that every policy proposal and input is based on fairness and respect to the regulator, the banking industry, and all stakeholders. Finally, BAN is fully committed to transforming the banking industry, which speaks to local ownership structure and employment equity.
BAN’s values are Trust, Accountability, Agility, Ethical conduct, and Effectiveness. All stakeholders must trust banks, and implicit in this is the commitment by banks to subscribe to and uphold the highest ethical standards. All banks have ethics policies in place that have “zero tolerance” for unethical behaviour. Accountability speaks to the commitment by banks to be accountable for all bank decisions and actions, while Effectiveness speaks to the commitment by banks to ensure that all decisions, actions, and engagements with all stakeholders lead to the instant and effective resolution of stakeholder challenges or pain points.
5. Strategic themes (focus areas)
BAN’s key focus areas are:
5.1 Market conduct – Improved focus on market conduct initiatives aimed at treating customers fairly through services and products offered. This includes consumer education initiatives.
5.2 Research-based advocacy – Conducting research on key banking trends and providing input on crucial banking legislation, with a specific focus on the sustainability of banking and socio-economic development.
5.3 Stakeholder engagements – Improved mutually rewarding relationships with key stakeholders premised on trust, continuous and fruitful engagement on matters affecting the Namibian economy and the industry.
5.4 Innovation – Being the first mover on well-researched new banking trends and facilitating innovation in the banking industry.
6. What BAN is not
BAN is an organisation primarily focusing on policy issues of non-competitive nature affecting the banking industry. BAN is, therefore, not:
· A banking institution taking deposits from clients and financing clients as with banks.
· A higher forum for banking customers to approach to resolve their disputes with banks; or
· a trade union.
BAN does not own ATMs and does not hold customer deposits or disburse cash. BAN does not host a database with any individual bank’s customers. Finally, BAN is not a forum where banks meet to discuss and decide on pricing issues. BAN is also not a platform to discuss any information of a competitive nature or strategies on how to bypass or break any applicable law.
7. BAN website Please visit www.ban.na for more information on the activities of BAN, and interesting consumer education articles on banking.
8. BAN Contact details
Unit 18, Tenbergen Office Complex, C/o Robert Mugabe and Julius Nyerere Streets, Windhoek, Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.