INTERVIEW: Bubbly bank boss bows out


The first Mosotho to be appointed in that position of Managing Director, Mpho Vumbukani, has decided to resign from standard Lesotho bank.  The news was broken on August 14 2019 by the bank which indicated that his resignation was effective from September 30 2019.

The bank thanked Mpho for his lustrous career at the bank and said during his time he provided leadership that was able to position the bank as the leading bank in Lesotho.

In an exclusive interview with theReporter’s ‘Majirata Latela, on Tuesday this week, Vumbukani, who described himself as an intensely private person, gave us some insight into his personal and professional live. 

Who is Mpho Vumbukani?


I am an ordinary citizen, born and bred at Khubetsoana Berea in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. I am a family man with three kids and because my mother was a teacher, I have learned a lot from her in terms of leadership, respect, humanity and all that. I have had the privilege and honour to serve my country and the nation in different roles in the financial sector.

How did you end up in banking business?

In 1999 I joined the Central Bank of Lesotho and worked in the Supervision Department as an Analyst. After gaining the great experience in financial sector policy and regulation, I moved to Lesotho Postbank in October 2004, when it was founded, as the Head of Finance and Acting Chief Executive. I served Lesotho Postbank as its first Chief Executive Officer from 2005 to 2010. I then moved to Standard Lesotho Bank in January 2011.

You actually went on to become the first Mosotho CE of Standard Lesotho Bank. How did it happen and how did you feel about it?

I took up the challenge to lead SLB as the first Mosotho Chief Executive in 2011after I was head hunted into the bank. I was very much aware that SLB, being the largest Bank in Lesotho, was going to be a daunting task and I took this bold decision.

First of all, I had to work on the transformation of the Executive and Management Teams from the ones that were predominantly made up of expatriates to one that I leave today, which consists of Basotho professionals. We also had to transform our systems and processes, given this new digital era. We invested a lot in developing our people and this learning and development, plus the culture journey, will continue into the future.

What would you say are the most memorable achievements at Standard Bank?

Deep connections that we made with our clients as we moved aggressively to become client centric. The Core Banking transformation that enabled the Bank to go digital.  The interaction with the Corporate Social Investments and Sponsorships that we made to “touch People’s Lives with Blue” are most memorable and close to my heart. And most importantly, leading and growing my Team to believe in themselves and appreciate that as Basotho Professionals, we can be counted among the best. I was also the Chairman of the board of directors of Stanlib Asset Company and also chairman of Liberty life Lesotho

Also growing standard bank asset book from 4billion to 9billion as of now and increasing profits from 100million 300million as of last year are one of the business related growth I was part of as the CE.

What are the biggest regrets?

I don’t have any regrets but having to deal with some people who lack integrity and thrive on lying to the public became the most frustrating part of my banking career. In banking one meets all kinds of people good and bad, and those who lie their way in always gave me a headache.

If you were to be given the second chance to do things over again, what would you do differently?

It is always important to learn from past mistakes and I believe that more engagements with clients to educate them as to how the financial sector operates and for Bankers to understand clients’ businesses and projects is critical.

The bank and clients are not in the same wave length with the bank and do not know the expectations of the bank when they apply for loans and the bank on the same manner are professionals sitting at the desk not knowing or understands the needs of the customers. I wish we could spend more time educating people about bank processes so that it becomes easy for the bank and the customer to be on the same wave length 

Now that you are leaving Standard Lesotho Bank, what is the next chapter of your life?

Leading banking institutions over the last 14 years has been very stressful and I have decided to take some time off for a few months. Thereafter I will explore my options in business. My mother taught me to never say never so I won’t say that I will never be in the financial sector.

Even if I do I will not be as involving as I have been before. Yes the financial sector I can go for.

How would you say banking has prepared you for the next adventure?

Banking is a business of trust, wherein you are entrusted to safe-keep people’s money, and I have learned that integrity is very key. Banking automatically teaches one to be responsible and I will use that going forward.

Banking also exposes one to a number of business opportunities and it opens your eyes.

I have had the opportunity to also serve as Chairman of the Bankers’ Association of Lesotho as well as the SADC Banking Association and in the process, I learned a lot.


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