As Maurice Toroitich settles in his new job as managing director of Bank Populaire du Rwanda Ltd (BPR), part of Atlas Mara, he tells hope magazine he hopes to create a winning spirit that will be anchored in professionalism.
How have you approached your new job at BPR?
BPR is a well established institution with its traditions and a way of doing things that have put it in the number 2 slot in the banking sector in Rwanda. There are also many opportunities that BPR has not taken advantage of in the past.
I have been listening a lot to all the stakeholders of the bank to understand the things that work and also the things that don’t work so that I get to know where the opportunities lie. What I learnt from these engagements that will be instrumental in what I do in BPR going forward.
What do you hope to achieve in your new position?
I hope to create a winning spirit in BPR that is anchored in professionalism and a true desire to serve. It is only when our customers’ expectations are met that we can hope to keep our business.
What new ideas do you bring to BPR?
There are hardly any magical ideas or solutions that have not been done by someone else. However, I hope to inspire the teams to apply current and new ideas in a way that boosts all stakeholders on a sustainable basis.
I will work closely with the team and all stakeholders to make sure that the bank becomes more relevant to its customers and has a forward looking attitude to the challenges of today and the future which is always unfolding.
What is your take on the reduction of loans in the market and increasing non-performing loans?
The increase in NPLs is reflective of the state of the economy. GDP growth over the last three years has been decreasing and this usually has an impact on the state of economic activity. Typically, when an economy slows down NPLs rise because businesses experience difficulty to create new business and to generate cashflow.
It should also be noted that during times of boom, credit expansion was high and banks may have extended credit to slightly marginal businesses which during the boom are well shielded from business shocks, but when the economy slows down, the marginal businesses fall off very fast. I think we are in the initial stages of this fall-off, that’s why NPLs are on the rise.
Where do you see BPR and the banking sector in general in the next five years?
Banking is undergoing massive change which is driven by technology. We are only getting to begin to know some of these technologies and the future is exponential. I foresee that in the next 5 to 10 years, most banking services will be on a self-service basis driven by hand-held electronic devises and so the structure of a bank as we know it today will change radically.
This means that strategically, BPR must position itself to ride the wave of change and I do not believe that the change will be progressive – it will be transformational.
As for banking careers, the next 5 to 10 years will also see a lot of transformation and current estimates indicate that in that period, 70% of banking jobs in their current format will be non-existent. That says a lot about how banking will be done in the very near future.
Read this article and more in issue n° 81 of Hope Magazine.