THE National Microfinance Bank PLC (NMB) has been named the Best Bank in Tanzania by Euromoney, a leading global financial markets magazine for a second year in a row.
The NMB Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wiessing, said on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam that the bank received the top honour at the Euromoney 2014 Awards for Excellence in London.
"The Best Bank in Tanzania award is a testament to NMB's sound business model and exceptional performance that the Bank has achieved across its core retail, SME, corporate and agribusiness segments," he told the Daily News in an interview.
The annual awards cover more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards in all regions and the best banks in close to 100 countries around the world.
It recognizes financial institutions worldwide that have recorded significant feats within their operating environments, continuously display innovation and record excellent financial performance year on year, with a panel of distinguished local and international judges from various professional backgrounds deciding on the winners from a number of submissions from around the world.
In addition to having the largest branch network in Tanzania, the NMB bank has new technologies such as mobile banking, integration with mobile network e-money offerings and the largest ATM network in the country play a key role in its expansion.
In the last 12 months, the Bank has introduced innovative products and services and continued to meet its customer and clients' savings, transactional and financing needs in urban and rural areas.
As a Tanzanian bank, and banking to over 2 million customers, NMB's strategy demonstrates a firm commitment to financial inclusion for the population as a whole.
"We would like to thank our clients, staff and investors for helping us achieve this impressive accolade. NMB will continue with its commitment to serve its customers better now and in future," says Wiessing.
He said also that the award adds to the more than seven awards that NMB had picked in the last 12 months including the Bank of the Year in Tanzania by The Banker magazine, while Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) awarded it as the Most Compliant Taxpayer in the Financial Sector.
Euromoney also named NMB as the Best Bank in Tanzania in 2013, while the independent Superbrand Council based in Kenya named it the premier banking brand in Tanzania and among the top 20 brands in Tanzania for 2013/14.
This year, The Banker Africa Magazine also named NMB as the Best Commercial Bank in East Africa. Speaking at the event, Clive Horwood, Euromoney's editor, said, "Competition for the awards this year was the toughest it has been since the start of the global financial crisis," Increasingly, banks are adapting their business models to the new market and regulatory environments.
The banks that have won the awards have, for the large part, also taken important decisions on their own strategy. "Banking in the future will be about what you do, as well as what you don't do. This year our most successful banks have clearly defined what their core strengths are, and built their businesses around them," he said.