The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has urged consumers to be on guard and vigilant with respect to the mushrooming of illegal deposit taking activities in the form of pyramid schemes. The Central Bank governor Moses Pelaelo warned at the opening of the First National Bank Botswana Pilane/Mochudi branch that these schemes can lead to financial ruin.
“I thought it would be appropriate, to use this forum to appeal to Batswana and to you all, Distinguished Guests, that you should neither participate nor peddle any of these “get rich quick” schemes,” Pelaelo said.
He added that these can only lead to financial ruin, resulting from loss of hard-earned money and sources of livelihood. “I urge you to be suspicious and stay away from anybody offering exceptional returns.”
According to the governor, the general guide is that, in any country, returns or rate of profit on any investment should be around the general level of interest rates, the growth rate of the economy or the average return of the companies listed on the stock exchange. He added that anything substantially higher is either too risky to be worthwhile or fraud.
As they say, ‘if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true’. Unfortunately, even the educated, professionals and people who should be financially literate and, I may add, some in the financial sector, are gullible and do fall prey to these illegal and unfair trading schemes. While it is difficult for the Bank of Botswana to recommend where to look for advice if confronted by a tricky financial investment situation, and you are unsure; you may wish to consider the general guide I have just highlighted.
FNBB, the largest bank in the land, was opening its first branch in Mochudi. The bank is increasing its footprint to protect its tough in a market it has registered tremendous growth over the years. FNBB’s total assets increased from P13.9 billion in December 2011 to P23.6 billion in June 2017.
In the same period, loans and advances rose from P8.3 billion to P15.6 billion, while deposits grew from P11.8 billion to P18.7 billion. The bank employs a total of 1 269 staff members, most of whom are Batswana; it has a network of 23 branches, 150 cash dispensing Automated Teller Machines, 51 Automated Teller Machines that have deposit taking capabilities, 25 Slimline Automated Teller Machines and 5600point of sales machines in retail outlets all over the country.
“Overall, in the 26 years of existence and operations in the country, FNB has grown in both size and range of products and services offered,” Pelaelo said.
“With particular reference to this Mochudi branch, located here at the Pilane Crossing Mall, the bank adds to the opportunities for enhancing access to financial services, notably saving channels, providing financial resources to its customers, ease of transacting, convenient payment and related advisory services.”
“The branch potentially extends the support to economic activity in the local community and neighbouring areas, and should serve the needs of local industry, businesses, agricultural pursuits and households, including the informal sector.”