BARCLAYS Bank Zambia managing director Mizinga Melu says it is time for her bank to follow clients where they are.
And Bank of Zambia deputy governor in charge of operations Dr Bwalya Ng’andu says the move by Barclays Bank Zambia to expand its branch network is momentous as it is in line with the central bank’s strategic objective of enhancing financial inclusion.
Speaking at a joint opening cocktail of three Barclays Bank Zambia branches, Melu recalled that last year, the bank embarked on a journey to “rationalise” its branch network.
The three new branches are at Centro, Levy and Garden City shopping malls.
“There were some branch networks that we re-positioned and in doing that, we thought it was important for us to follow the customers – to go where the customers want us to be. Gone are the days where we would keep all the branches, all of them in Cairo road. If you wanted to have a Barclays branch, then you needed to be in Cairo road. But those are old days! If you look at the branches that we have opened, they are all in the neighbourhood; Garden City Mall branch, all the clients from Chongwe can get there, if you look at the Levy Mall branch… and even this particular branch here at Centro Mall. So, I’m extremely proud of all these branches,” said Melu at the opening cocktail held at Centro Mall.
And Dr Ng’andu reminded Barclays Bank Zambia that the opening of new branches ought to be an opportunity for the bank to improve its quality of service to clients.
“It’s not just a question of bringing banks close to people. But it’s also a question of delivering an efficient service and one way in which you can look at this service is the length of time it takes you to transact in a bank – what you don’t want to do is to enter a bank and spend 40 minutes just to cash a cheque, 20 minutes to deposit money. So, I hope that you will achieve those efforts of bringing the service closer to the people and also at the same time providing a more efficient service,” said Dr Ng’andu.
Meanwhile, Barclays Bank Zambia board chairperson Chishala Kateka said: “We hope that by opening these new branches within the malls, more of our customers from surrounding areas will access our services as we continue to provide unmatched innovative products and services on the market.”/SM