Recently licensed mutual bank plans to offer shares in June

By Dieketseng Maleke 6m in the past

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THE founding father of Young Women in Business Network (YWBN), Nthabeleng Likotsi, is planning to offer shares to the general public from June 1.

Likotsi, 35, would be the first lady to personal a mutual bank in SA.

On Thursday, the South African Reserve bank introduced it had authorised her licence to personal a mutual bank.

“From June, we will have different types of shares to offer to different people depending on affordability,” she said.

Speaking to Business Report Online, she said she proposed to the Reserve Bank that the bank be majority-owned by South Africans.

Likotsi’s mutual bank is digital, it will be available as an app on cell phones and she won’t have branches as it is not a commercial bank.

She said while the bank was currently called YWBN, she was not sure if the name would be changed or not.

She said the bank offered two products: savings, and business loans.

“We save R1100 for five years. For loans, if you have a tender then we will fund you for up to R360 000.”

She said she planned to have offices around the country.

“We have our offices in Edenvale, Johannesburg, but we plan to expand, and it won’t be a brick and mortar business,” she mentioned.

She mentioned the Reserve Bank had given her 12 months to arrange the bank earlier than she will formally launch it to the general public.

Likotsi mentioned her drive to personal a bank was to have a monetary establishment that represented girls.

“In SA, black girls particularly in the monetary sector are marginalised, we aren’t represented in senior govt positions so it is a massive deal, the monetary sector is male dominated, it’s a ’boys’ membership’.

“From possession, senior govt administration to decrease administration the bulk in the mutual bank are black girls, that is for transformation functions in the sector.”

Likotsi mentioned buying the licence was a four-year journey. “It was extremely difficult to get the licence! There are stringent requirements, which is understandable because the role of the reserve bank is to ensure you are not going to be a fly by night, that you know your story.”

She mentioned she encountered a whole lot of challenges when she needed to begin the bank. Since she was beginning a mutual bank, individuals would affiliate her with the infamous VBS mutual bank.

VBS mutual bank is a black-owned monetary establishment, its mandate was initially to function as an funding scheme to encourage and assist communities to make investments. Years later it was found that billions had been siphoned out of the bank.

“Thank God we were able to overcome that, people understand that these things happen, it’s not just VBS. Other banks have failed before. We can’t carry the cross for other people forever. We need to be evaluated on our own merits,” she mentioned.

“Our merit says we have five clean audits ever since we have been operational. We have been reporting profits for the past five years. We are carrying our cross and ours is lighter.”

Likotsi mentioned she began YWBN in 2009 and in 2015 she determined to register the company as a monetary establishment.

She mentioned to open a monetary establishment one wants to have a minimal variety of 200 members and R100 000. She mentioned for her establishment, the quantity grew to 540 shareholders.

“The legislation did not allow us to offer our products to people who were not members of YWBN, but with the licence, this can be achieved,” she mentioned.

She mentioned the preliminary shareholders are those who’re at the moment making choices for the bank. She mentioned as soon as the bank has been launched, all shareholders will likely be a part of the decision-making. One of the choices is whether or not she is going to proceed being CEO of the bank.

Likotsi mentioned the most important lesson she has discovered is once you need to begin one thing simply do it.

“Even when naysayers said it can’t be done, I started. I believed that not everybody is going to support me, I also understood that there will be people who support me. I followed the process,” she mentioned.

“Stay in the process as long as you believe in what you are doing, stay in the process because the process will bear fruit,” she added.


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