TRUSTCO BANK NAMIBIA (TBN) CLIENTS ADVISED THAT ALL DEPOSITS ARE HELD 100% IN CASH
Trustco Bank Namibia (TBN) announced on Monday 26 September 2022 that it brought a review application against TBN’s regulator, Bank of Namibia (BON), to set aside certain directives BON made against TBN as well as declaring certain sections of the Banking Institutions Act of Namibia unconstitutional. BON retaliated in the local media by threatening to bring an application for liquidation against TBN. The expected application for liquidation has not been served on TBN as of yet.
TBN maintains that it is commercially solvent at this time, and that no client of TBN will need to use the Namibia Deposit Guarantee Authority, which provides a guarantee for only N$ 25 000 per depositor. All TBN client deposits are 100% backed by cash, and can be returned at the client’s request.
TBN clients are invited to contact the TBN Helpdesk at +264 434 8110 to collect their deposits should they wish to transfer their balances to any other entity. All clients with TBN loans are advised to continue to service their loans until otherwise informed.
For any queries, please contact the Trustco Bank Namibia Helpdesk at the following number: +264 434 8110
TRUSTCO APPROACHES HIGH COURT OF NAMIBIA AFTER NAD 1 BILLION INVESTMENT IN NAMIBIAN BANKING WAS DENIED
The Namibian court system played a major role in the achievement of Independence from South African rule and the protection of fundamental rights of every Namibian. The second phase of the struggle is one of economic emancipation for Namibians. This time however, a world-renowned constitution together with the Namibian High Court will be asked to review key pieces of economic legislation as Trustco Group and Trustco Bank question its constitutionality.
In the aftermath of two years of correspondence and threats between Trustco Bank Namibia Ltd (TBN), Trustco Group Holdings Ltd (TGH), and Bank of Namibia (BON) to enable TBN to enter full commercial banking operations, and after TGH offered to capitalize TBN’s balance sheet by a further NAD 1 billion and was denied, TBN and TGH unfortunately had no choice but to file a Notice of Motion to Review several directives and decisions issued by BON against TBN since 25 July 2022 in the High Court of Namibia, in Windhoek on Friday 23 September 2022.
Since Independence, Namibian depositors have loaned capital daily to South African banks. This deprives Namibian businesses and individuals of the capital required to grow the Namibian economy, which in turn should create jobs and decent living conditions as envisaged in Article 98 of the Namibian Constitution. The Article reads as follows:
“(1) The economic order of Namibia shall be based on the principles of a mixed economy with the objective of securing economic growth, prosperity and a life of human dignity for all Namibians.”
Namibia remains a net exporter of capital to South African banks. Over the past 12 months a total of N$6.97 billion or 63% of total debt issued was to the non-resident private sector. In the case of the SME Bank, millions of such exported capital were lost in SA banks.
In terms of the notice, TGH and TBN claim that the directives and decisions issued by BON were unconstitutional on several grounds. Firstly, that sections 72A and 73B of the Banking Institutions Act 2 of 1998 (the Act) are unconstitutional, as they violate Article 10(1) of the Namibian Constitution, practicing unfair discrimination, as it only allows certain orders to be reviewed. Secondly, that section 58(4) of the Act is unconstitutional, as it serves to restrict TBN’s Article 21(1)(j) fundamental freedom to carry on its business. Finally, both the Act as well as the Bank of Namibia Act was passed without compliance to Articles 98 and 101 of the Constitution.
Dr Quinton van Rooyen, Group MD of Trustco Group, notes, “Article 101 of the constitution compelled Parliament to take into consideration economic growth when it enacted the legislation under discussion. Not once, not even a single time, did Parliament use the concept of economic growth in any of these Acts. In fact, the long title of the Banking Institutions Act emphasizes only ‘control, supervision and regulations.’ The ‘developmental mindset’ is detrimental to economic growth as well as wealth creation for all Namibians and our constitutional writers had exactly that in mind when article 98 was adopted from the ruling parties’ Constitution.”
“The hiatus created by failing Namibian banks established after Namibia’s Independence, has left the majority of the Namibian banking sector under foreign control. This results in a significant barrier of entry for a 100% Namibian owned start-up bank like Trustco Bank to successfully enter the banking industry. Such a barrier to entry results in a loss of control for Namibia over its own local economy. Namibian Banks that disappeared since independence are City Savings and Investment Bank, Swabou Bank, E-Bank, and SME Bank whilst banks established pre-independence went from strength to strength,” he added.
Trustco Group’s current investment in Trustco Bank represents 1% of its Net Assets of NAD 6.5 billion. Trustco Bank is a small 100% percent Namibian owned bank with limited deposits and a small loan book, but with immense potential. Over the last 30 years, Trustco’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) averaged 84%.
National Payment System – Awareness Communication
The existing EFT system managed by Namclear will be replaced by a state-of-the-art, internationally recognised messaging standard (ISO-20022) solution that introduces more efficiency and effective control of the domestic EFT component of the National Payment System. The solution entails the delivery of three new payment methods with the following key attributes:
- Enhanced Debit Order (EnDO) Instructions – The banking customer will be able to submit a debit order request with multiple tracking days that will improve the success rate of collections. In the event that paying customers do not have sufficient funds in their accounts at the time of collection, the debit order will automatically and systematically be resubmitted for a specified tracking period. The solution will additionally provide an improved dispute management process and a more robust regulatory management process for debit order originators, ensuring that consumers are protected from rogue collectors.
- Enhanced Credit (EnCR) Transfers – The banking customer will be able to submit beneficiary payment instructions that will be accumulated and bulked before being transferred and cleared between the banks. Credit transfers have been enhanced to automatically process between the banks more seamlessly and will improve settlement success as a result of better data and customer validation procedures across the National Payment System.
- Near-Real-Time Credit (NRTC) Transfers – The banking customer will be able to submit, clear and settle beneficiary payment instructions to customers of other banks in a short amount of time (less than approx. 10 minutes). The customer will be also be notified on the transaction success or failure almost immediately.
The Enhanced EFT solution has been designed to complete as much of the common NPS functionality centrally in Namclear:
- The existing settlement solution for EFT has been improved to support the Enhanced EFT solution, increase automation capability within Namclear and the Banks, improve reconciliation processes and result in reduced settlement risk across the financial services industry;
- Reduce the end-to-end processing effort by each of the banks as part of NPS;
- Improve the turnaround time and processes on introduction of new bank participants due to fewer functional requirements;
- Improve the quality of data transfer and tracking due to improved technical and data validation between the banks and Namclear, vice versa;
- Standardisation and consistency in payment execution processes across the NPS, aligning to international standards;
- Standardised tracking and reporting on the success/failures of payments across the industry to improve visibility and predictability, as well as reduce the volume of bank customer queries and disputes;
- Centralised transaction lifecycle management at Namclear improves overall efficiencies and turnaround times in the dispute and unpaid transaction processes;
- Reduces the potential for fraudulent and erroneous transactions and reversals;
- Automatic reversals for time-barred transactions with an imposed SLA on participants;
- Enablement of business intelligence as a result of centralised data warehousing which can be utilised in credit management processes and AML initiatives in the industry;
- Introduction of intra-day settlement sessions that will enable multiple clearing EFT windows between the banks and improve payment turnaround time.
The solution presents an incredible opportunity for the Namibia NPS to be among the most technologically advanced on the continent. It will not only bring Namibia to the forefront of the digitisation of national payments systems, but will add considerable value to all users of the NPS, ultimately the Namibian consumer.
Finding out more information…
Why NamPay and what is ISO20022?
NamPay is the locally developed solution to improve efficiencies in the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) component of the National Payment System (NPS). NamPay will replace the current EFT system over the course of the next few years. The systems will run in parallel so that impact to consumers is managed carefully. ISO20022 is the latest technology standard for processing payments and is implemented in multiple countries worldwide.
Will my existing debit orders and payments be impacted?
No, all existing agreements, debit orders and credit payments will be “migrated” onto NamPay in accordance with the planned transition period.
What do I need to do as a consumer?
Consumers will be seamlessly moved to the new system through planned processes by the banks where their accounts are held. There will be no impact to the bank accounts of consumers, however any expected impact or benefit will be managed by carefully structured plans.
How do I learn more about NamPay?
To get more detailed information on NamPay, consumers can access the PAN website (http://www.pan.org.na/) or alternatively contact their banks directly for more info.
The EFT System, as part of the Namibia National Payments System (NPS), will be replaced and modernized by with the implementation of a state-of-the-art, internationally recognised messaging standard (ISO-20022) solution. This solution introduces more efficiency and effective control of the domestic EFT component of the National Payment System and will meet the compliance requirements as set out in the “PSD-7: Determination on the Efficiency of the National Payments System” published by Bank of Namibia (BON) on 3 December 2013. The EFT PCH initiated a project called the Enhanced EFT (EEFT) Programme, sponsored and managed by Payments Association of Namibia (PAN), which will deliver the technology (systems), business processes, policies and industry rules to comply with both PSD-7 and ISO-20022 requirements. This project includes all participants of the EFT PCH including banks using the existing EFT system, new banking institutions and the Namclear automated clearing house (ACH).
ISO-20022 is an ISO standard for electronic data interchange between financial institutions. It describes a metadata repository containing descriptions of messages and business processes, and a maintenance process for the repository content. The standard covers financial information transferred between financial institutions that includes payment transactions, securities trading and settlement information, credit and debit card transactions and other financial information.
The impact of the implementation of the project is not limited to the system-only attributes of the standard, as it requires a transformative change across the NPS in order to achieve the efficiencies required by PSD-7 and address long-standing issues impacting everyday payments, clearing and settlement. This impact has extended across all aspects of the payments lifecycle including the broader user groups of the NPS such as consumers, corporates, businesses and payment service providers.
As part of this impact, system and business processes are required to be changed, replaced, improved or even discarded in order for the NPS to utilize the intended solution design. These changes result in significant impact that, if not managed correctly, will result in resistance and negativity which will lower confidence and adoption of the EEFT solution by its users. One of these critical changes includes the introduction of new measures to reduce the risks and issues associated with invalid and illegal debit orders, fraudulent activity and improving national money-laundering processes. Although the technology implemented will address the system processing risks with debits, the full value chain has been reviewed to introduce controls, processes and procedures to better manage, monitor, regulate and rehabilitate rogue users of the NPS.