FNB has revealed plans to grow its branch network by adding seven more branches to its existing national footprint of 619 branches in South Africa. Photo: Dylan Jacobs/African News Agency(ANA)

DURBAN – FNB has revealed plans to grow its branch network by adding seven more branches to its existing national footprint of 619 branches in South Africa.

Before the end of its financial year, the bank plans to open additional branches in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and the Western Cape.

The move to introduce additional branches is aligned to the bank’s strategy to provide convenient interfaces that offer the best technology and advice to help customers with better money management decisions. 

Customers will receive personalised service from specialist consultants who will be able to assist in resolving complex queries and the bank will also offer customers a choice of self-service channels to bank efficiently.

The chief executive of FNB Points of Presence, Lee-Anne van Zyl said: "We offer customers a wider choice of interfaces to access our services because we understand that their needs vary. 

"The branch network is very important in our comprehensive range of interfaces which includes App, Online, Cellphone Banking, Contact Centre and Banker Services suite. Similarly, we have been growing our workforce while making sure that existing employees are equipped to service customers by using technology." 

FNB is also committed to ensuring that our already existing branches are in line with the current modern sleek designs. The new branch design integrates self-service and personalised service, also important is the fact that the branch will heighten customer privacy during consultations with staff and at the self-service areas.

FNB is leveraging the benefits of their digital journey by placing the relevant technology in the hands of their employees across branches, contact centres and private banking suites to fulfil and service their customers financial services requirements.

FNB is resourcing the new branches with well-trained staff who can assist customers with a range of money management needs. The bank will have self-service infrastructure for customers who simply want to process transactions such as cash withdrawals and deposits or to retrieve statements. The resources will depend on the size of the branch and the services offered.

The announcement of the bank's seven new branches comes after a recently averted bank strike that was set to take place on September 27 2019. 

The call to strike from Sasbo came in the wake of moves by South Africa's big four banks to downsize by closing some branches and merging others to align banking services. 

At least 50 000 people were expected to join a banking sector national strike led by the finance union Sasbo (formerly the SA Society of Bank Officials).

Standard Bank closed 104 branches, affecting more than 1 000 jobs. While Nedbank, FNB and Absa have also trimmed branches, with Absa reducing its own bank branches from 885 in 2011 to 698 in this year's first quarter.