As Parley approves Bill paving way for commercialisation
Botswana Building Society’s (BBS) commercialisation process is gaining momentum with Parliament having approved and given thumbs up to the Building Societies (Amendment) Bill to advance the Society’s determinations to turn into the first locally-owned commercial bank.
Presenting the bill at Parliament on Tuesday, Minister Kenneth Matambo said it intends to amend the Building Societies Act, Cap; 42:03 to enable the Botswana Building Society’s shareholder protective cap to be raised from 15% to 25%.
He said this will allow the Society – as a commercial bank – to raise additional capital by allowing existing shareholders who have already bought shares in BBS to the maximum 15% to buy additional shares to support the growth of the new commercial bank.
“In terms of Section 13 of the Banking Act, administered by Bank of Botswana, a bank is required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy (solvency) ratio of at least 15%, calculated as unimpaired capital to total risk – weighted assets,” he charged.
Matambo pointed out that the increase in the BBS protective cap of 15 %to 25% will enable the Society or the new commercial bank to mobilize more capital and thus enabling the bank to meet the capital adequacy requirements of the Banking Act.
Members of Parliament have hailed the commercialisation of BBS as a great milestone as this will mean that the bank becomes the first fully-owned local commercial bank.
Palapye MP Moiseraele Goya said the Bill offers a good space for BBS to realise its commercialisation process implemented with good opportunities for the shareholders and clients at large.
He added that BBS commercialisation will localise services as most of the current existing commercial banks operations are done abroad where the headquarters of the latter are located. “BBS being a local bank will offer better services to its clients and will bring serious competition in the banking sector,” Goya said.
Tati West MP Biki Butale revealed that BBS will stand a great opportunity to turn into a force to reckon with in the banking environment both locally and regionally.
He also noted that the bank’s increment of shareholding rate from 15% to 25% will create more wealth for Botswana and open more viable investment opportunities for the local business community or individuals.
Matambo said BBS’s transformation route into a fully-fledged commercial bank is nearly complete as the banking licence qualification accreditation process will be done in a short period of time. He therefore pleaded with the local companies and parastatals to opt banking with BBS once it acquires commercial bank status.