Tailor-made financial solutions in Angola Banco Comercial do Huambo BCH Natalino LAVRADOR

BCH, by providing a tailor-made service, is a relevant alternative for the operations of large international oil and gas companies.


Tailor-made financial solutions in Angola

July 4, 2022

Natalino Lavrador, chairman of the board of Banco Comercial do Huambo (BCH), talks to The Energy Year about trends in the Angolan banking sector, challenges banks have in providing credit in Angola and the advantages of medium-sized banks. BCH is a retail bank supporting small and medium-sized companies in Angola.

What long-term business trends have shaped the Angolan banking sector?
The banking sector has special characteristics in our country. In the early 2000s, the banks operated with no competition, and the most relevant were Banco Angolano de Investimento (BAI), Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA) and Banco de Poupança e Crédito (BPC). New banks started being established after 2006, and competition between them proved to be beneficial for economic agents.
The economic agent now chooses the bank that interests him the most, in terms of the service provided and pricing. The number of banks doesn’t disrupt the economic agents’ behaviour. It allows them a better choice.

For banks, what are the main challenges in providing credit to Angola’s private sector?
The goal of the bank is to provide more credit to the economy. In terms of credit to the real economy, we follow strict guidelines, complying with the legislation and avoiding creating bad debt and non-performing loans. We are cautious. We have to think about the funds available for the granting of credit, which belong to third parties. We grant credit to the State of Angola, as other banks do. We contribute to the economic and social development of the country. However, the role of the banking sector is often undervalued.

Which characteristics can make a medium-sized bank such as BCH more attractive to corporate clients?
We strive to provide extremely personalised services to customers of a certain size. A small company will probably directly contact the bank’s business directors to execute its operations, while with a major bank, it is difficult to reach out to a director or the board of directors. A smaller bank has the advantage of a closer and more personalised service.


Tell us about the main competitive advantages BCH can offer to an oil and gas company.
As a bank that provides top-quality service, our idea is to have a good relationship with most companies and provide them an alternative option to that offered by massive banks. We are showing what our personalised services can do. We can offer an attractive business solution – in terms of banking products and pricing – and be competitive. Regarding the oil and gas industry, our strategy is to create a positive impact through the whole value chain.

What are the dynamics between the energy industry and the banking sector in Angola?
Energy is a key sector for the Angolan economy. The large international oil and gas companies are important for the country’s development and interact with the banking sector by requesting a quality of service and adequate professional competence.
We believe that BCH, by providing a tailor-made service, is a relevant alternative for the operations of these companies, as well as for their workforce, suppliers, contractors and customers.

How would you describe Banco Comercial do Huambo’s setup and activities?
Banco Comercial do Huambo was established in 2010, and our first branch opened in Luanda in 2012. Today we have six branches, with a strong business presence in Luanda. We have a representation office in Portugal (Porto) to facilitate and boost business between Portuguese and other European economic agents and Angola. Our operational headquarters are in Luanda.
We are a trusted partner and preferred provider of financial solutions, by providing full-fledged domestic and international banking services and using modern technology, with an efficient service and a prompt response to our customers’ inquiries.

What are the next steps in the bank’s growth strategy?
The bank has been evolving in a very satisfactory way. Its finances are solid; the bank ratios are good; our solvency ratio is 177% and our liquidity cover ratio is above the average, thus evidencing an adequate capital structure and a strong financial balance. The bank also complies with rules and guidelines issued by international reference entities, such as the European Banking Authority.
By the end of 2022, we will open another branch in Luanda, in a location with a high population density, and we will continue to focus on digital development to improve processes and facilitate interaction and communication with our customers.

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