Letshego Holdings Limited (“Letshego”) was incorporated in 1998, is headquartered in Gaborone and has been publicly listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange since 2002. Today it is one of Botswana’s largest indigenous groups, with a market capitalisation of approximately USD500mn, placing it in the top 50 listed sub-Sahara African companies (ex-South Africa), with an agenda focused on inclusive finance. Through its eleven country presence across Southern, East and West Africa (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda), its subsidiaries provide simple, appropriate and accessible consumer, microfinance and savings solutions to the financially under-served. Letshego is committed to skills development. The Group employs over 3,250 team members, representing more than 20 nationalities, servicing over 345,000 borrowers and 120,000 depositors through 307 customer access points.
The Group’s inclusive finance agenda is focused on providing underserved customers with access to simple, appropriate and accessible financial solutions. These broad based, innovative and competitively priced solutions include loans between US$500 and US$60,000 appropriate to its customers’ every day needs, mainly through the deduction at source model.
Letshego diversified its offering in 2012 through the acquisition of Micro Africa Limited in East Africa – providing loans to micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs), collective groups as well as to low and middle income earners. The MSE portfolio continues to steadily grow - as at December 2016, the total micro finance book stood at US$ 71mn.
In addition to Letshego’s deposit-taking activities in Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and Tanzania, microfinance banking has been added in Nigeria and Tanzania through the acquisition of banks already operating in MSE sectors. Overall, the Group’s solutions encompass savings, borrowings, payments and micro-insurance.
The Group’s brand, now refreshed in ten of its markets, is trusted across Africa and is known for being responsive to customers’ needs. Letshego is committed to responsible and ethical lending as well as full regulatory compliance in all its countries of operation.
Over the last eighteen years, the Group has expanded across Africa from its origins in Botswana. For the year ended December 2016, gross advances reached USD 660mn resulting in an underlying growth of 14% in local currency terms.
The Group has continued to grow its market share, and maintains good asset quality (non-performing loans are under 3% of the total loan book). Operating income increased at a 3-year compound annual growth rate of 11%, reflecting the underlying growth in customer advances, as well as continued revenue diversification
Letshego’s strategic intent is to build Africa’s leading inclusive finance group. The strategy delivery centres on four pillars:
Embrace financial inclusion
Letshego continues to progress its inclusive finance agenda through engaging stakeholders, and advocating for enabling financial inclusion policies as well as piloting agricultural, educational and affordable housing lending projects. It supplements this with a financial literacy programme across key customer segments and into communities in which it operates. Letshego is an active contributor to public-private dialogue with AFI, a global body of financial regulators focused on financial inclusion, of which Letshego is the sole African private sector partner.
Grow the franchise – invest and diversifying
Letshego continues to grow in its existing territories and diversify into new African markets. Subsequent to the Nigeria and Tanzania acquisitions, Letshego acquired a Ghanaian non-bank financial institution (currently engaged in lending to the formally employed sector) bringing the total country footprint to eleven, and marking its second entry into West Africa. Further, the Group fully acquired its Namibian banking licence during 2016. Also, progress has been made in developing key “fintech” and other strategic relationships. This is all underpinned by continued investment in Letshego’s people and systems.
Enhance the customer experience - deliver simple, appropriate and accessible solutions
Mozambique and Rwanda are now live with USSD mobile financial services, with card services to be introduced in Mozambique and Namibia in 2017. A number of initiatives to integrate and improve their customer offering have resulted in solutions being developed to finance affordable housing, agri-business, education, health, and micro-business sectors. In Kenya, Letshego offers mobile micro loans (with 72,000 loans disbursed since launch) and plans are underway to launch the solution in Ghana and Rwanda in 2017 through MNO partnerships. Letshego has enhanced its sales delivery model, increasing both accessibility and customer-needs driven service standards across its footprint.
Embed the future capability model
Letshego has invested in innovation in order to provide access anytime, anywhere for customers. This includes the piloting of third party agency banking in Mozambique, and mobile banking, payment and internet banking solutions, soon to launch in Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and Tanzania. Across the group, a core IT system has been implemented in addition to a standardised enterprise risk management framework.
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