Stanbic Bank has completed a Shs41 billion network upgrading that has seen the bank interlink its entire branch network. This is the highest amount ever spent by a single bank on operations upgrade in Uganda.The work involved computerisation, conversion of former UCB branches to Stanbic, renovation of 66 branches and staff training. Mr Kitili Mbathi, the bank's Managing Director said, "We now have the biggest network of not only ATMs but branches with excellent customer care. Our entire 66 branches are online 24 hours in real time. Wherever you are, you can access your money, making every branch virtually your branch."

He was briefing the press at the bank's head office at Crested Towers in Kampala yesterday. "The ability of the bank to attract and maintain customers depends on its branch network and quality of services and how easy it is to access these services. We feel this is worthwhile," he said.

He said Uganda is under-banked thereby creating room for expansion for all banks. The latest estimates indicate that there are about 1.2 million people with bank accounts out of a population of 24 million."This is too small. There are people who are in the economic system that are yet to be captured by the banking systems. Those are our targets," he said. He said that there was a lot of potential especially in retail banking.

The Monitor