The Namibian banking industry plays a critical role in catalysing economic activity and ensures financial stability, especially in unprecedented and challenging times. Bank Windhoek's Managing Director Baronice Hans said this when she took over the chairpersonship of the Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) on Friday.
The responsibility of chairing the BAN rotates annually amongst the managing directors of the current five commercial banks in Namibia. Hans takes over from Nedbank Namibia's Managing Director Martha Murorua, who said that it was a privilege to chair BAN, where the banks can discuss critical matters to ensure absolute fairness to the banking public.
At Friday's handover, Hans focused on the importance of open communication and dialogue in her acceptance speech. She said stakeholders must ensure that as enablers in the financial industry, the banks receive the support to contribute to the growth in support of the country's National Development and Harambee Prosperity Plans. Hans said one of the ongoing challenges that will need to be addressed during the next 12 months is to clarify the role of the banking sector to the public and the relevant stakeholders. "Information empowers people and allows them to make better choices. We need to make a concerted effort to ensure that our society has a better understanding of banking, especially financial discipline and the productive use of debt," she said.
The Bankers' Association of Namibia was established in 1997, following the Banking Institutions Act, as the representative trade association for the commercial banking sector in the country. Their overarching objective is to provide a forum for considering policy matters impacting the Namibian banking industry and for member banks to discuss common concerns and issues. Through the BAN, members deal with non-competitive matters of common interest and significance to Namibia's banking industry.
"Bank Windhoek looks forward to working with the industry over the next 12 months to ensure that together we achieve our set objectives as per the BAN strategy," Hans concluded.