Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Banks Adopt Longer Working Hours in Battle for Clients

ECOBANK Tanzania has joined the bandwagon of financial institutions that are luring clients by extending their opening hours, in some cases having additional hours at some branches in Dar es Salaam.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ecobank Tanzania, Mr Noch Osei-Safo, the bank is using the approach to attract customers as competition forces them to think about strategies to retain customer. Mr Noch Osei-Safo said in Dar es Salaam yesterday when awarding final bunch of customers in the ongoing 'Win Big' campaign.

He said the objective of the 6 months campaign is to instill a savings culture to Tanzanians, create awareness to Tanzanians about Ecobank and to get new customers. This is the fifth draw and so far 75 customers have won prizes in different categories like ipads, laptops, trips to Zanzibar and gift vouchers. The grand prize is a car, Hyundai Tucson which will be given to the winner in January 2013.

He said Ecobank has extended working hours with internet banking, agency banking, rapid transfer, schools, lending solutions and investment solutions. He said the bank is already financing projects in Mtwara targeting real estate for gas exploration activities in the area, adding it plans to consolidate their business in the country by playing a bigger role in the energy sector and infrastructure financing.

He said that from experiences in other countries where the bank operates, they have taken on structuring oil and gas transactions and they would train staff here in the country on financing deals for oil and gas. According to Mr Noch Osei- Safo, the bank's move into the sector was extremely important because it offers many exciting opportunities in a number of crucial industries in addition to other subsectors of agriculture and general commerce.

He said there is also an increasing number of a small and medium-sized firm gaining a foothold along the coast and Mtwara where exploration is taking place. Mr Noch Osei-Safo said the bank has rolled out a countrywide initiative to raise deposit at a low-cost and is opening branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) to turn around its fortunes.

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