For Bank Windhoek, Corporate Social Responsibility extends well beyond our societal impact. It underpins our culture and aligns with our purpose of being a connector of positive change. In response to the appeal by the President of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Dr Hage G. Geingob to the private sector, Bank Windhoek would like to announce the following initiatives to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on our immediate environment.
To neutralise the COVID-19 pandemic, collective effort is required. We believe that our prioritised actions will add value where it matters the most.
Our response is focused on the following:
1. Staff Welfare:
To date, we have made a substantial investment in the protection of the health and safety of our staff. We have procured sanitising solutions, masks and gloves for our staff nationwide. We have also enabled many of our staff compliment to work from home and have supplied the necessary tools for them to carry out their tasks and ensure that we can continue to deliver the best possible client service. For the duration of the lockdown, all our branches nationwide will be closed on Saturdays to minimise social interaction further.
These critical times require extraordinary collaboration to make a positive impact where it matters the most. We are fully committed to supporting our clients in both good and bad times. Clients all have different circumstances and varying needs for assistance.
To optimise the impact of the support we offer, we want to address the specific needs of our clients rather than following a blanket, “one size fits all" approach. Clients are invited to contact their branch or relationship managers to discuss support options, including deferment of capital and interest payments for three months or longer and restructuring of facilities in line with our risk models.
Bank Windhoek has put in place a fast-track application process for the deferment of capital and interest payments on term loan facilities, vehicle and asset finance, mortgage loans and overdraft facilities up to N$2,5 million and for an initial period of up to three months. The fast-track process is designed to simplify applications and facilitate quick response by the Bank to ensure clients are assisted timeously. The special arrangements are available to clients who are in good standing with the bank and aims to specifically support SME's with a turnover of under N$10 million a year, clients in the tourism sector, the agriculture value chain, transport and health sectors as well as clients who may have lost all or part of their salary income due to the fallout of COVID-19.
Click here to download and complete a customised fast-track application form. The application form is also available from our 24- hour Customer Contact Centre, which may be contacted on telephone number (061) 299 1200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To comply with social distancing measures, clients are encouraged to submit the form to their relationship manager via email. However, forms will also be available for collection and submission at branches for clients who are unable to access the form through the internet.
We will also be facilitating certain assistance measures in support of the stimulus package announced by the Minister of Finance on 1 April 2020. More details in this regard will be announced following discussions between the banking industry and the office of the Minister of Finance.
2.1 For our Senior Citizen Clients Aged 55 and above:
We recognise that senior citizens often rely on the interest earned on their investment and have decided to offer them preferential interest rates on fixed deposits for periods of 12, 18 and 24 months. Bank Windhoek would like to confirm that the return and capital are guaranteed for the period and will not change over the term of the investment. We aim to stabilise investment income during these uncertain times. The interest will be paid monthly to a client nominated bank account.
Clients with a Senior Save Account will further benefit from no transaction fees at Bank Windhoek ATMs, free Point of Sale transactions and free access to all electronic channels until the end of April.
We have identified the informal settlements in Windhoek as communities in urgent need of collective support. There are approximately 300 000 citizens that are in danger of being exposed because of various factors such as poor hygiene, inadequate water supply and lack of access to relevant information regarding COVID-19 in vernacular languages. Bank Windhoek have joined other private sector partners in support of the Mayoral Relief Fund to purchase 10,000-litre water tanks to provide these communities with much-needed access to clean and safe water.
Bank Windhoek has also committed an amount of N$258,000 to translate relevant information about COVID-19 to all vernaculars and to broadcast it on radio services of the NBC. This awareness campaign will start on 10 April and will continue for three months, or for as long as this information is required.
We have engaged with the Ministry of Health and Social Services to assist in the purchasing of chemical testing agents required in testing for COVID-19. An amount of N$332,000 has been made available for testing kits and Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection kits. Engagements with the Ministry of Health is ongoing as we realise that times are uncertain and further needs may arise.
Bank Windhoek is a proudly Namibian bank and is committed to help address the plight of our country and our people to ensure the sustainability and future growth of our clients and ultimately the Namibian economy.