FNB evolves Private Bankers, accelerates branch modernisation

Not one to stay out of the news for too long, FNB is once again raising the bar as an integrated financial services provider with platform-based assisted and unassisted services. The banking institution is transitioning its Private Bankers into Private Advisors while also accelerating the modernisation of its branches to cater for digital and face-to-face client interactions.

The transition from Private Bankers to Private Advisors

The transition of Private Bankers to Private Advisors allows clients to get more out of their relationship with FNB. Private Advisors will be equipped and accredited to provide integrated advice to help clients unlock cashflow in transact and lend activities, thus enabling them to save and invest more and protect their assets and loved ones. Furthermore, to improve the quality of engagements across client segments, FNB will significantly increase the number of Private Advisors.

“Traditionally, private banking was mostly about providing personalised services for day-to-day client needs,” says Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Retail and Private Banking. “However, we’re evolving our approach towards providing integrated advice across the banking, lending, investment and insurance needs of our clients. Through integrated advice underpinned by the efficiency of our platform, we want to help our Retail and Private Banking clients and their families realise value across the full range of our solutions and services. We are doing this in response to changing client needs and as part our commitment to providing client-centric solutions,” he says.

Modernisation of the branch network

FNB plans to continue modernising its branch network with a strong focus on digitisation, enhanced client service, and optimal cash solutions for clients. It is optimising space and design, and future branches will average 350m2 in size rather than the current 460m2.

FNB built 9 new branches in local markets or communities and refurbished 53 branches in the current financial year with another 3 new branches which are in the process of being built as well as another 34 refurbishments in progress. FNB plans to build an additional 27 new community branches as well as refurbish approximately 90 branches in the 2023 financial year.

“Our strategy in our branch network is premised on the modernisation of infrastructure and service model for assisted and unassisted client needs. While we promote the digitisation of services to make our clients’ lives convenient and easier, we also recognise that there is no technological substitute for personalised advice. As a result, we believe that clients who use our branches should be able to perform day-to-day banking through our digital zones, with the option to consult with our experts for human assistance as needed,” Makanjee says.

The Workforce of the Future

“The preparation of our human capital in frontline environments is critical to our ability to provide holistic financial services offerings and differentiate ourselves from monoline financial services providers. As a result, our human capital in branches is transitioning from administrative to frontline roles to advise clients on how to better manage their money. Our Private Advisors, many of whom are already highly qualified and experienced, have undergone extensive training and accreditation through an internal Private Banking Academy. We firmly believe that our advice and service model enable us to better serve clients and augment our value in their lives,” concludes Makanjee.