Sunday, March 18, 2012

Trip to Ngoma... March 14 2012

Ngoma Office and Eugenie, EBU Leader
On March 14th, 2012, I made the visit to Ngoma EBU with Marketing Manager, Associate Director of Branch Banking Division and Manager of Administrative Services. This was my first field visit in 2012.

The purpose of the visit was three-fold:

1. To meet the staff and listen to the market conditions and their suggestions on how and where to expand our service;
2. To discuss about the plan to convert the EBU office to a branch; and
3. To emphasize the importance of remaining alert for any illegal businesses in which our clients may be involved.

The following was discussed and decided:

1. I like Ngoma EBU staff, including its leader, Eugenie. She is a visionary with a proactive mindset and creative ideas. Ngoma EBU's loan portfolio is the best balanced among all EBU's. For example, some EBU staff is scared of New Solidarity Group loans because of their high Portfolio At Risk (PAR) rates on old SG loans due mainly to their improper structuring. But Eugenie and her staff are not afraid. They know how to take risks to expand their outreach. They are expanding into various areas and they recommended the opening of satellite offices in three areas. After discussion, we agreed to focus on Mulindi and Kirehe. We will add more staff to help with the expansion efforts.

2. We have already made a decision to convert the Ngoma EBU office to a branch based primarily on Ngoma EBU's rapidly growing client base, significant deposit base and Ngoma EBU staff's proactive attitude.  We went there with other staff mainly to figure out what needs to be done to effect the conversion. We have prepared a floor plan and established a plan that covers the scope of construction work, marketing, staff selection and training. I am confident that this branch, upon the opening, will perform very well.

3. It has been brought to our attention that a couple of staff discovered a few clients of ours have become involved in illegal mining trade transactions. Whatever the reason may be, I emphasized that UOB should not be involved in such illegal transactions and all staff must be vigilant in fighting against such activities. If the discovery happens during the loan cycle, then we should wait until the loan is paid off and discontinue the relationship. If the discovery happens to happen after a loan cycle, we should discontinue the financing. Meanwhile, this position has to be communicated clearly to all clients as well as the lending staff to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.

We hope to open the branch by no later than July 2012. - Jeffrey

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