The current economic slump has not been easy for banks who have had to make some adjustments that included retrenching staff and closing branches. When it comes to closing branches StanChart has led the way. StanChart’s cousin (yes they are related), Stanbic Bank is also going to be closing 2 branches in March.

The two branches are:

  • Chitungwiza and
  • Beitbridge

Again like their cousins, Stanbic is saying the closures are part of their digitisation exercise although they acknowledge this would also result in reduced costs.

The model we are following has been adopted by many financial and non-financial institutions in other parts of the world but very few in Southern Africa.

The new banking technologies we are introducing continue to bring ease of banking to our customers, which gives us the confidence to move to the next level of banking.

Stanbic CEO Joshua Tapambgwa speaking to the Chronicle about the branch closures

The customer gets the short end of the stick

While Stanbic are saying the customer is their priority here this is absolute nonsense. Consider an account holder who lives in Beitbridge, they are expected to visit Bulawayo if they want face to face service! That is 320 KM away. In fact Standard Bank (Musina) is much much closer but there is the small matter of it being in another country.

Given how people in Beitbridge already use foreign currency they are better off switching to Non-Resident accounts in Musina which is 30 minutes away.