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Bank pledges to fix systems



MASERU – Standard Lesotho Bank this week pledged to fix its banking system after it was subjected to vicious attacks on social media over its banking practices. Standard Lesotho Bank chief spokesman, Manyathela Kheleli, said they are aware that “our banking system has behaved badly lately and we have responded to that matter cautiously”.

The bank’s CEO, Mpho Vumbukani, said they “are indeed monitoring the posts and addressing the issues that our customers are raising”.
Vumbukani said the bank has also embarked on a series of engagements to address the issues.  However, Vumbukani stated that due to the nature of their business and the policies of the bank, they are “unfortunately not able to respond back to our customers in social media as the nature of their enquiries and their issues are of a private nature”.

“The comments on behalf of the bank on social media will compromise the customers’ privacy, which we also have a duty to protect,” Vumbukani said.
Vumbukani noted that this explains the reason why they encourage their legitimate customers to visit the bank or contact their Customer Contact Centres “which is a professional outfit manned with dedicated staff to assist customers in a professional and ethical manner”.
Vumbukani said the bank upgraded its Core Banking system on March 20.

He said the bank’s customers got their new account numbers and they are still continuing to give out new account numbers until March 2019.
Vumbukani says the current banking system is intended to provide improved narrations and more detailed statements for their customers “so that there is clarity on all their transactions to improve transparency and accountability”.

“The new system came bundled with a new look and feel on E-Banking — the personal internet banking that is now also operational 24/7 to make banking even more convenient for our customers,” he said. With the new system, Standard Lesotho Bank now has the capability to offer more pricing options to suit its customers’ needs.  “For example, we have customers who prefer the pay as-you-transact model and others who prefer bundled pricing, which is where we have one fee for a month,” Vumbukani said.

He said the options which the bank offers are varied and flexible, and this will be introduced later this year. “The new system is intended to provide the bedrock that is going to enable us to provide cutting edge digital solutions towards building a bank for the future that embraces digital integration, which is where banking is going globally,” Vumbukani said.

“However, when we opened for business, some of our channels, especially Mobile and Internet Banking were a bit problematic, largely because we did not have the most recent mobile numbers for some of our customers who had changed their numbers,” he said.

“We understand that some of these technical glitches have in one way or another inconvenienced our customers. I take this opportunity to convey our sincere apologies. I also affirm our commitment as a bank to improve our services to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations.”
Vumbukani said some of the issues raised by Standard Lesotho Bank clients include: l ATMs/POS transactions which the bank has already resolved.

l Double deduction of management fees, which were reversed and the clients were informed by an SMS.
l Loan deductions which were split: principal, interest, insurance versus one bulk payment in the past.
l Pricing — transparency, no changes at all from our January 2017 published prices.
He also said that the new system “just details all transactions and clients are always notified through SMS/emails”.
“We have continued awareness campaign on radio as well as an array of newspaper notices and adverts that delve into some general issues that our customers have picked up on,” Vumbukani said.

“We are also engaging customers in a number of briefing sessions that we started three weeks ago. We understand that this might not be enough but we are doing all we can to reach them at many touch-points including our Customer Contact Centre, where we address individual queries and enquiries as and when they come,” he said.

“We have very exciting new products that have been made possible by the new Core Banking system which bear testimony to our assertion that we are changing the game of banking for the better,” he said.

Mosiuoa Frantši

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