Wanted: One Buyer for 22 Bank Buildings

EmailEmail Print Share

12 May 2010

Wanted: One buyer for 22 bank buildings in rural towns in the Free State and Northern Cape.

After First National Bank (FNB) recently decided to close 31 branches in rural towns in these two provinces, some of the towns decided to buy the existing FNB building in their town to house credit-and-save corporations.

Talks were held with FNB on the matter until the banking group made a business decision to advertise the 22 buildings it owns (it leased the rest in other towns) in one tender.

Who will be interested in buying these properties in one transaction?

“Maybe a retail group looking to expand its footprint in rural areas,” says Steve Higgins, spokesperson for FNB.

Or maybe another banking group? Higgins didn’t want to comment on this, but rumours in Free State towns move inexorably in this direction.

Two banks are mentioned in this regard: Capitec, the bank with the low-cost business model, and Standard Bank, which still owns a building in Vredefort although it doesn’t do business there anymore.

“Capitec is enlarging its branch network where there is a need and we are on the look-out for market opportunities,” says Sumarie Brand, head of communications and PR. But she denies that the banking group has any plans to open branches in buildings where FNB is withdrawing.

Ross Linstrom, a spokesperson for Standard Bank, said the bank “is always looking for new business opportunities”.

He said the bank don’t have any plans to close branches in rural areas. In fact, renovations are on the cards for existing branches in towns like Ladybrand, Kuruman and Kathu.

Where does this leave communities that consider the opening of credit-and-save corporations? Towns like Ventersburg, Philippolis and Boshoff are seriously considering such a move.

“We are forging ahead with our plans and will submit a tender for all 22 properties when FNB advertises them,” says Jaap Kelder, chairperson of the National Ratepayers Union (NRU) which is helping with the coordination of the establishment of these corporations.

Even if the tender is unsuccessful, communities will run their credit-and-save corporations from different premises, says Maxi Badenhorst, businesswoman from Ventersburg and Free State organiser of the credit-and-save corporation project.

“We really have no other choice. On Monday there will be no banks in this town. Businesses can’t each cough up R3k per month to take our cash to Hennenman and if we do it ourselves, we’ll be ambushed and robbed.”

FNB has meanwhile announced the branch in Clocolan won’t be closing anymore and that an agency in Winburg will still be open.

Higgins says there is also an undertaking to install new automatic deposit terminals where branches are closing down.

“If they haven’t already been installed, it will happen soon.” – Vida Booysen, Sake24

Readers' Comments Have a comment about this article? Email us now.

Similar Articles

The new multi-million rand Tugela Ferry Mall and Jozini...

A new flexible co-work facility, One Chadwick Co-Working...

The Amdec Group handed over a cheque for R250k to the...

View all articles

Top Articles

When decorating as a couples it’s important to make...

Morningside, Rivonia, Rosebank and Bryanston will see much...

Offering sophisticated retirement living, Lazuli Coastal...

View all articles
Top Articles
09 Feb 2016
Buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes near top Western Cape scho...
09 Feb 2016
Teams in the Six Nations Championship will be battling it out on the rug...
09 Feb 2016
A new flexible co-work facility, One Chadwick Co-Working Space, is being...
09 Feb 2016
From revitalising the Boet Erasmus Stadium in Port Elizabeth to restorin...
09 Feb 2016
Actual property prices are expected, even by the most conservative forec...
Newsletter
Get the latest property news.
Select your options:
Loading

Your browser is out of date!

It looks like you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.

For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.


Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724