YWBN Bank founder: 'We're not putting in money but working to make it a success'
The YWBN Mutual bank was founded by Nthabeleng Likotsi and it was launched earlier this month.
This is an African women-led bank that says it aims to service the needs of the unbanked, underserved, previously disadvantaged and small businesses who are forced to close shop due to lack of access to financing.
Likotsi has indicated that she wanted to build a financial institution with diverse ownership.
The public was given until the end of this month to own up to 95 million shares, allegedly giving them a shareholding of 90% for the bank.
Within the first 72 hours of the launch, one million shares were reportedly sold at R10 a piece to thousands of so-called investors.
But there have been a lot of questions since the bank was launched.
Is this a good investment? What's the business model? Is it not risky for people to put their money into this when the reverse bank hasn’t given the organisation a license to establish a bank? What happens to people’s investments if the license is not granted?
Likotsi joins Clement Manyathela to provide clarity on these important questions.
I believed I could, I STARTED.— Nthabeleng Likotsi (@MissNthabeleng) March 25, 2021
I believed ordinary Afrikans will support my vision, THEY DID.
It took us 4+ years but who was counting anyway 😜
Together we got approved for the First Women Owned Bank in the history of South Africa.
WE DID IT!!#YWBNmutualBank pic.twitter.com/awTf6HkTFh
“On the 1st of June we started with what we call the YWBN media campaign, so we’re not launching. What we mean by launching is that we applied… on the 15th of June 2018 we submitted an application to the Reserve Bank to apply for a mutual bank licence and on the 9th of March 2021 we were then granted authorization to establish a mutual bank.Nthabeleng Likotsi, Founder of YWBN Mutual Bank
Likotsi says one of the conditions of being granted a licence is to appoint auditors and a board, which they have so far done, and that they have been granted authorisation to establish the bank.
“On the 1st of June, we were then starting the campaign to raise the capital. You don’t just wake up and decide to establish a bank. You need to request authorization to establish a mutual bank… and then they will respond and say ‘we have looked at your application, we are happy with your application, therefore we are granting you authorisation…”Nthabeleng Likotsi, Founder of YWBN Mutual Bank
“The reason we are starting a bank ourselves is we understand that black people don’t have access to capital… So us as YWBN founders and shareholders, we do not have the capital put in for the R5billion [needed]. But what we’re saying is that we have over the past five/six years been working so hard to put in our money, our resources, our time to ensure that we’re getting authorization to establish a mutual bank… It’s a rare thing to have… We are not putting in any money but we’re saying is what we’re bringing to the table is this letter that we’ve been granted to operate… We’re going to work, over the next six years, to ensure that the bank is a success.Nthabeleng Likotsi, Founder of YWBN Mutual Bank
She says YWBN shareholders own 100% of the bank.
Listen to the full interview below...