What you need to know:
- As a tier one financial institution, Post Bank, will accept and call savings, and time deposits withdrawable through cheque or otherwise.
Bank of Uganda has granted Post Bank a tier one licence, which effectively completes its transformation into a commercial bank.
Post Bank, which as of February 2021, operated a branch network of 33 fixed branches and 17 mobile banking units, has been operating as a non-bank credit institution in the tier II category.
In an email inquiry yesterday, Dr Bazinzi Natamba, the Bank of Uganda acting director communications, confirmed Post Bank’s elevation, noting the licence had already been issued.
“This is to confirm to you that yes, Post Bank obtained a Class 1 License effective December 2021. The licence certificate has already been sent to the bank,” he said, without giving more details.
Post Bank becomes the 27th bank to operate in Uganda under the tier one category. In April Post Bank told Daily Monitor it had completed a five-year strategy in which it had sought to transition into a fully-fledged commercial bank.
The completion, Post Bank said then, was part of the large plan through which the bank had upgraded a number of systems to fit and compete with large commercial banks.
This had come ahead of constitution of a new board headed by Mr Andrew Otengo Owiny as the chairman.
The bank, which is wholly owned by government, had also conducted a series of high-level recruitments and a restructuring process, which Mr Julius Kakeeto, the Post Bank managing director, who was appointed in 2019, said were necessary to prepare for the rollout.
The new licence gives Post Bank an opportunity to boost its loan portfolio, one of the highest profit driven products in the banking industry.
Mr Kakeeto yesterday told Daily Monitor they had for about two years now built a foundation that seeks to further the bank’s competitive edge, especially in agriculture and SME funding.
“With these changes, it was inevitable that the bank optimises its potential to compete with aggressive private financial institutions,” he said, noting the restructuring had also allowed the bank to return a profit of Shs10b for the period ended December 2020.
What new licence means
As a tier one financial institution, Post Bank, will accept and call savings, and time deposits withdrawable through cheque or otherwise.
It will also provide overdrafts and short to medium term loans, provide foreign exchange facilities, accept and discount of bills of exchange. Under the new licence, Post Bank will also offer and provide financial and investment advice and participate in inter-bank clearing systems.