Earlier this week, the First National Bank Tanzania Limited (FNB) announced its official launch of in the East African country, bringing the number of banks operating in the country to 47.
Since it first began its operations in July of last year, operations for FNB, which is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited (FSR), have not only been performing well, but are also in accordance with the expectations that have been put in place to demonstrate the opportunities for investment and business that the bank provides in Tanzania.
With plans already in place to expand its three branches into areas including Arusha, Mwanza and Mbeya, FNB has identified a key growth market in the Tanzania banking sector and is currently working to achieve a true national representation of their bank within the country.
“For First National Bank, this is a significant development for our expansion strategy and growth in East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa as we see this presence core to our Africa footprint,” said Sizwe Nxasana, the CEO of FSB in a recently published article by Business Report.
“We have identified Tanzania as a key growth market for the banking group and see a bright future for investment and expansion in the country,” he continued
In addition, according to Richard Hudson, the CEO of FNB Tanzania, over the past few years, the company has already launched a variety of their products across a number of African markets with the intention of continuing this trend in Tanzania.
“We consider ourselves to be a market leader in introducing new and innovative products and will be tapping into the systems and expertise of the group to ensure the smooth roll-out of these products in Tanzania,” said Mr. Hudson, “These products are all aimed at making the banking experience more efficient and more rewarding for our customers, and even more so for the unbanked market.”
Mr. Hudson went on to indicate that FNB chose to invest in Tanzania in part because of the country’s large population, strong economic growth, large GDP, well regulated banking industry and stable political environment, all of which would help make the investment successful and hopefully contribute to the transforming the FNB into a major player in the African banking industry in Africa.
“We remain committed to our brand promise and we intend to continue to deliver on that promise” said Mr. Hudson, “We look forward to partnering with the people of Tanzania by making a positive contribution to the economy and hope that the FNB experience will be a rewarding one, where customers truly experience the spirit of helpfulness.”
With this spirit in mind, President Jakaya Kikwete, who spoke at the bank’s official launch last week encouraged the country’s banks to consider providing loans to investors in the productive Tanzania agriculture sector and to the country’s manufacturing in particular.
According to the President, the Tanzania agriculture sector will flourish if farmers are well empowered financially; this will result in an economic boom, an increase in the overall income of the working population and ultimately a growth in the banks themselves.
“Tanzania is well endowed with raw materials from agriculture, mining and natural resources that can support growth of vibrant manufacturing sector, but it has remained exporter of primary product [and] this must change,” said President Kikwete, “I appeal to banks to do the needful, I know you are doing it, but you could do more.”