POWER SOLUTIONS: First Wind Powered Bank Branch
Recent Western Cape Business News
Nedbank recently opened the country’s first wind powered branch in the Western Cape town of Du Noon making it the first bank branch in the country to derive its energy from sustainable energy source. The new branch will be powered by wind turbines installed by Eveready Kestrel Wind Turbines that will generate all the electrical power that the branch will need to operate. The branch will therefore not derive electricity from the national grid. Instead the existing power grid will only act as back-up energy source on the rare occasions when there is no wind energy to power the branch.
The opening of the Nedbank Du Noon Branch forms another example of the bank’s commitment to ensure that all South Africans have access to banking. The launch also ensures that Nedbank honours its promise to make financial services accessible, convenient, affordable and sustainable.
Branch banking remains a convenient channel for clients who prefer face to face interaction and consultation that only branches can provide. This has resulted in an increased growth and demand for a full bouquet of banking solutions in one branch. Last year, Nedbank opened five new branches in Western Cape region alone. According to Dave Schwegmann, Managing Executive of the Branch Network, the lack of access to traditional banking services can restrain development, and DuNoon branch was opened to support the residents, business community and residents from surrounding areas to increase commercial growth and create more jobs.
“As a result of the growth of alternative banking channels, branch banking now has to transform, do things differently and innovate. Innovation and excellent client service underpinned by value add products and sustainability have become the bank’s principal source of differentiation and competitive advantage. Nedbank is taking an analytical approach to optimize its branch network, and DuNoon branch is an example of that approach” says Schwegmann.
Among the many other projects that Nedbank has in the Western Cape Region. Nedbank erected a billboard that combined solar panels with a wind turbine to provide electricity to the youth and family development centre in Athlone.
There is also a schools savings literacy program that Nedbank ran in 29 primary schools as a pilot in the area of Mitchells Plain area last year. The program is scheduled to expand further into 11 more schools during the first term of 2011. The aim of the program is to give primary school children, from grade 1 to grade 7 an introduction to the principles of saving and the tools to successfully do so. Nedbank in partnership with The Sports Trust also donated soccer kits to 15 schools around Western Cape, during the Soccer World Cup.
As part of Nedbank’s philosophy of providing its clients with much more than just banking, the new generation of Nedbank branches have been designed to be more client-centric, creating a banking environment that is friendly inside and outside - reflecting the bank’s brand promise to deliver value and help enable clients make things happen in accordance with their needs.
“We are very excited about this new location and confident that clients will experience a change that is inspiring the moment they enter a branch, as they are met with friendly staff who are ready to provide a positive and consistent client experience,” concludes Schwegmann.
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