“Bank Windhoek was Namibia's best performing bank in a difficult economic climate. The judges were impressed not only by the bank's strong financial performance, but also by innovative initiatives such as its landmark Green Bond offering and its Woman in Business product range," says John Everington, Middle East and Africa Editor, The Banker.
The prestigious award follows after Bank Windhoek was ranked as the best Namibian bank in the African Business Magazine, moving up seven places from last year. Africa's top 100 banks are ranked annually as of the Top 100 Banks survey, which is conducted by the African Business magazine.
Regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence, The Banker's Bank of the Year Awards judge the world's leading financial institutions on their ability to deliver returns, gain strategic advantage and serve their markets.
Commenting on the award, Bank Windhoek's Managing Director, Baronice Hans said, “Our success is the result of the dedication, resilience, teamwork and the tenacity of the Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group teams. Customer centricity is fundamental to how we do business. We believe that strong relationships based on ethical principles, are the currency of business today and pride ourselves in being a relationship driven bank. We have a unique and proud heritage based on the entrepreneurial foresight and pioneering spirit of our founders embedded in our culture. In as much as we are building a strong and high-performance driven business, we also focus on being a responsible corporate citizen by giving back to the communities in which we operate and ensuring that we embed environmental sustainability into the core of how we approach business. This is a very big part of who we are and what we stand for."
Cognisant of Namibia's current economic downturn and drought, Bank Windhoek's Chief Financial Officer, James Chapman said Bank Windhoek proved to be resilient in a tough economic environment during the 2019 financial year. “Despite a number of consecutive quarters of negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and low levels of inflation, Bank Windhoek's normalised profit after tax grew by 10.6 percent year-on-year. Top line growth is a strong indicator of business health, especially when coupled with business efficiency drivers. We continued to grow revenue through advances growth but have also improved interest margins by optimising the bank's balance sheet. In addition, non-interest revenue growth was largely driven by robust earnings from trading and foreign exchange income. Furthermore, the introduction of and investment in digital and innovative customer solutions has resulted in lower cost to serve delivery channels and more efficient back office cost structures. This is much needed during a period of lower private credit extension, economic stagnation, non-traditional competition and digital disruption," Chapman said.
Bank Windhoek's Green Bond, launched in December 2018 was the first of its kind bond to cater specifically to the financing of sustainable, green project in Southern Africa. International accolades soon followed with Bank Windhoek's Green Bond awarded the Green Bond Pioneer Award by Climate Bonds Initiative. The Bank Windhoek Green Bond is the result of individuals within the Bank who are passionate about the work they do, in protecting the environment and contributing toward the wellbeing of the country in which we do business.
The Women in Business offering, launched in 2018, is another first for Bank Windhoek and Namibia as a whole. The offering recognises the both the efforts and needs of women who own and run their own business as major contributors to the economy. The offering comprises of access to business and personal transactional accounts and includes as many saving pockets as they require to reach their financial goals. Women in Business Account holders also have access to the Hey Jude for Bank Windhoek Mobile App, a personal assistant on their smartphones that assists with jobs that allow account holders to focus on their businesses.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group I would like to congratulate our Group's flagship brand, Bank Windhoek, on receiving the 2019 Bank of the Year Award for Namibia. We are proud of the achievements and continued solid performance of Bank Windhoek in very difficult market conditions. I would therefore like to express my heartfelt appreciation for the resilience, dedication and hard work of all the Bank Windhoek employees", said Johan Swanepoel, Chair of Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group.
“We are proud to bring home this accolade. It is confirmation of our commitment to our staff, our customers and being business partners for growth for all our stakeholders. As a truly 100% Namibian bank, we will continue to journey together with all our stakeholders to impact positively in our country and live as Connectors of Positive Change," concludes Hans.