COVID-19’s economic impacts have contributed to a sharp rise in defaults of corporate and household debt that is eroding the asset quality of banks across countries.

As the pandemic continues, banks could face a substantial increase in non-performing loans (NPLs) due to the rise in household and company defaults. It is thus critical for banking supervisors to come up with strategies that will help their banks mitigate the effect of this development.

Interestingly, some banks have been able to adapt strategies that has brought increased profit even with a pandemic. In this interview with African Leadership Magazine, the CEO of CRDB Bank Tanzania, Mr Abdulmajid Mussa Nsekela talks about the strategies of CRDB Bank Tanzania.

Excerpts;

Despite the Covid-19 disruption, CRDB has continued to deliver a strong balance sheet underlined by solid growth in net interest and non-funded incomes. Did you implement any new strategies to overcome COVID-19 related challenges to maintain positive figures?

We embarked on 2021 with a simple strategy – to support our customers’ recovery. We had the benefit of hindsight, drawing lessons from the successes of 2020 and continuing to adapt our short-term strategies to the shifting business landscape. A key win for us was forging closer relationships with our customers, which enabled us to understand their unique situations and support them in the context of their challenges.

Similarly, our investments in technology, especially system upgrades and integrations, gave us a solid anchorage, allowing us to scale services efficiently.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, we expanded our alternative channels to give customers a wide range of options in accessing our services. This continued in 2021 with sustained improvements on our alterative media, skeptically digital mobile and internet banking platforms. Our focus was on improving our customers’ experience accessing services and simplifying onboarding new ones. By the end of the 2021 financial year, our customer numbers had grown by 0ver 57%, signaling a huge success.

In addition to enhancing access through digital channels, we continued to innovate solutions that respond to the changing needs. We saw an opportunity in our customers’ challenges and applied ourselves to create solutions.

Click HERE TO ACCESS THE FULL INTERVIEW on pages 28 – 31 of the March 2022 edition of the African Leadership Magazine.