By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
Financial services provider, Central Africa Building Society (CABS), is set to splash millions of dollars sprucing up its branch network countrywide as it seeks to retain its refreshing appearance in a highly competitive market.
CABS joins other banking groups such as Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited and FBC that have been sprucing up their images.
In notices flighted in the mainstream media over the past two weeks, CABS said it is targeting to renovate its branches in Chinhoyi, Mutare and Harare First Street.
The temporary locations will be created to provide full banking services during the time of renovations.
“We would like to advise that CABS Chinhoyi branch will be undergoing refurbishments with effect from February 26, 2018, and the re-opening date will be advised in due course.
“During this period, the branch will be operating from a temporary structure, adjacent to the branch. The temporary structure will be offering full banking services including a fully functional ATM,” said the bank in a statement.
The same applies to the Harare and Mutare branches.
The decision taken by CABS to splash funds on cosmetics comes at a time when other financial institutions have already decided to modernise their operations in tandem with the ongoing technological advancements taking place across the globe.
This is despite the inability by banks to pay depositors their money on demand.
It also comes when banks are unwilling to extend meaningful loans to the manufacturing sector to enable them to ramp up production.
Last year, FBC Bank spent $3 million in the refurbishment of 13 of its branches as it sought to bring a fresh breath into its banking halls.
As part of the renovations, some FBC Branches got granite façade, as the bank sought to deliver “top-drawer services to customers in a modern banking environment”.
“The revamped branches’ aesthetic outlook is giving a fresher, modern and more inviting look to meet the modern international banking standards,” said FBC group spokesperson Ms Priscilla Sadomba.
In June last year, Standard Chartered Bank officially launched its newly refurbished branches — Africa Unity Square, Bindura, Chiredzi, Kadoma, Marondera, Masvingo and Mutare.
The bank embarked on the project which saw its branch network being renovated to world class standards whilst driving the digital agenda.
In total, 10 branches were renovated at a cost of $6,5million, but others were commissioned early in the year.
The new branches, though a brick and mortar setup, are committed to the migration to being a fully digital bank.
Standard Chartered Bank board chairman Lovemore Manatsa said the refurbishments underlined the firm’s commitment to the local market.
“We do not take for granted what a privilege it has been, and continues to be, of growing with you our customers and stakeholders over the 125 years.
“It is why we invest so much in taking to heart and being responsible citizens of our brand promise of being ‘Here for good and Here for Africa’.
“Investing in refurbishing branches is a very important undertaking for us. It demonstrates our commitment and our confidence in the future.”