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Immersion Program - First National Bank, FNB

21 - 22 February 2024
10 : 00
17 : 30
Immersion Program - First National Bank, FNB

It was a pleasure seeing and meeting some of you end of February in Johannesburg during the First National Bank’s exclusive Immersion Program.
The two-day visit gave participants insights into the South Africa SME landscape and the innovative solutions that FNB deployed to manage/grow their SME business and serve their SME clients.

More specifically, the participants learned about:

  1. SME business revenue drivers
  2. Their portfolio performance, cost and NPL performance management
  3. The evolution of FNB's SME business, including their strategic shifts undertaken post COVID
  4. The role of technology, digital and alternate data
  5. Supply chain finance
  6. A lifecycle approach to SME banking and segmentation approaches
  7. Product bundling as well as customer experience management

The Immersion Visit, attended by more than 25 senior executives from 12 member institutions across Africa and Asia, extended over two days period. On the first day, the focus was primarily on FNB internal operations as well as on understanding the South Africa’s macro, social and economic environments in which they operate. Participants had the opportunity to meet with FNB's CEO, Mr. Gordon Little, followed by a session led by their Chief Economist, Miss Mamello Matikina, and a detailed and comprehensive session with Miss Andiswa Bata, the Head of SME and with Mr. Gavin Tarr, head of working capital solution. Additionally, breakout sessions featured insights shared by various teams including Customer Experience and Product Development, Data Analytics, and the Head of Underserved and Financial Inclusion Segments. The second day centered around customer and branch visits, providing practical demonstrations of the insights gained on Day 1.


Some of the Key “high-level” Learning shared over the two days visit which were highly appreciated by all participants include:

1) empowered banking: an innovative open branch concept designed to enhance customer experiences and operational efficiency

2) beyond banking

3) community banking

4) SME business banking

5) SmartTill


Join our two-day Immersion program to discover how First National Bank (FNB), a market leader in South Africa and the continent, is revolutionizing the banking industry. Gain valuable insights into FNB's innovative solutions for SMEs as we delve into their real challenges. From post-pandemic recovery and high unemployment to power supply issues and inequality, they'll showcase how FNB tackles these hurdles head-on. Be inspired by their dynamic banking approach and how they learn firsthand from SMEs themselves. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to explore unique South African solutions that make FNB a leader in the industry.


FNB is the retail arm of FirstRand Bank – the largest bank in Africa by market cap. FNB is a leading financial services provider in South Africa with over 185 years in operation. Headquartered in South Africa, the group has a presence in 8 countries across Africa and Europe, employing over 37,000 staff members. FNB has been ranked among the top innovation and customer service banks and is frequently recognized in local and global awards/accolades.


This is an exceptional opportunity to connect with fellow members and industry friends. Mark your calendars and join us to learn from a renowned industry leader.


1. Agenda  
The AGENDA is available HERE

2. Eligibility and Registration 
The visit is by invitation only, especially for members of the SME Finance Forum. We have a limited number of spots available. 
3. Cost
The commitment Members fee for participation is USD $1,000 per attendee, which is non-refundable (except in event of health or other emergencies). The fee can be transferred to another senior employee of the member's institution. Attendees are responsible for their own travel, accommodations, other meal and transportation costs. 

4. Registration
The regsitration link is available on the Member Portal


INTERESTED? Please email Mohan Chen or SMEFinanceForum@IFC.org

Financial EducationAlternative FinancingSupply & Value Chain FinanceData Analytics