Standard Chartered Bank Closing its Mbale branch

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In short
Reports suggest the branch has been performing dismally. The bank's Head of Corporate Affairs Herbert Zake, however, says the closure is part of the bank's refreshed global strategy to reorient its distribution network in order to meet the changing needs of its clients.

Standard Chartered Bank, one of Uganda's ‘Big Five', is closing its Mbale branch.

 
Reports suggest the branch has been performing dismally. The bank's Head of Corporate Affairs Herbert Zake, however, says the closure is part of the bank's refreshed global strategy to reorient its distribution network in order to meet the changing needs of its clients.
 
All the branch's staff and clients have been notified of the closing and the branch is now in transition mode.
 
Zake says the affected Mbale customers who want to remain with Standard Chartered will either be taken to other branches or helped to start using digital platforms like online banking.
 
In addition, such customers will also be supported to use the collection arrangement with Centenary Bank where their Standard Chartered Bank accounts will be credited the same day on weekdays.
 
Zake says those customers who wish to move to other banks altogether are also being assisted to do so.
 
On reports that the Mbale branch was underperforming, Zake says "they continuously review the footfall and usage of our branches by clients and therefore reviewed our branch network in order to design the best way to serve our clients".
 
He adds that as their clients are increasingly going digital and visit branches less often, they are reformatting their current channels to best serve their clients.
 
On reports that other Standard Chartered Bank branches in Gulu and Mbarara are also facing closure, Zake says they will remain open.
 
On whether the branch's closure is evidence of the mismatch between the bank's high end status and the base-of-the-pyramid clients, Zake says Standard Chartered Bank has a retail banking division which caters for the mass market with very affordable accounts and solutions.
 
He says they have designed and tailored products for salary earners and children with low opening balances, adding that the bank ensures the trickle down of finance by lending to microfinance institutions for onward lending to the smaller and mainly unbanked population.
 
Zake says Standard Chartered Bank's operation in Uganda for 102 years, much of it without a huge elite class to speak of, is testimony to the bank's unwavering commitment to the Ugandan market and the people.
 
Zake defended Standard Chartered Bank as an institution built on a formidable foundation and is growing steadily, adding that there is no doubt it will continue to contribute to the economic development of the financial services sector and the nation.
 

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."

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