Bank Gaborone this week launched two new saving schemes known as Ipeele Savings Account and Sure Save as a way of encouraging a culture of saving among locals. The new accounts offer to diversify clients’ options for saving money.
Bank Gaborone Managing Director Andre Barnard said on Thursday during a media briefing that through the accounts, they aim to address market concerns by tackling the issue of financial management and instilling a saving culture.
“Bank Gaborone is very aware of reports circulating the market about the climate of the banking sector, which has resulted in some concerns,” noted Barnard. According to the MD, the poor culture of saving found among the locals emanates from the fact that the country does not have a matured savings culture and this largely affects how finances are managed in households.
Barnard said the habit of lack of saving is popular in Botswana, noting that even coins that people normally overlook can make a difference in the long run.
Other experts have in the past maintained that high households’ debt was arising from unsecured loans.
The MD said the bank’s savings accounts provide the market with affordable and necessary resources to be better prepared for the future.
“Savings do not only benefit the individual but are also necessary for the growth and development of an economy,” Barnard said, explaining that this is evidenced by the proportionately higher percentage of household debt compared to households deposits.
“Financial prudence, temperance and self-control are keys to financial freedom,” he said.
Through the savings accounts, Bank Gaborone seeks to cultivate a culture of saving and encourages it as a lifestyle to enhance better financial management. According to the bank, the product offerings provide customers with an opportunity to be financially independent and deal with the future.
According to information provided by the bank, both accounts have competitive rates and affordability is made to cater to a wide range of customers. Sure Save account does not have an age limit and customers need not to be employed.
Ipeele account, on the hand, will offer customers a funeral cover option when they reach a certain balance.
Bank Gaborone believes that culture is best developed at a younger age, hence the introduction of Wiz Account, which does not only teach children the principles of banking but seeks to teach and encourage them to save.
In an interview on Friday, a research analyst at Motswedi Securities. Tlotlo Rmalepa said though the move by Bank Gaborone is a welcome one, he cannot quantify the statement that there is a poor culture of saving in the country. “It could be that people are putting their money somewhere else apart from banks and investing in other funds or stocks,” said Ramalepa, saying he is not quite sure if it the statement of lack of saving among the locals it is really true or not.