Nouvobanq Praslin: Celebrating 10 years of success


The new Praslin branch was Nouvobanq’s first branch away from Mahé and marked a major increase in competition in the banking sector on the island. With a commitment to customer service and a complete range of bank products and services on offer, the Praslin branch quickly attracted new customers and raised service standards across the banking sector on Praslin. Ten years later Nouvobanq Praslin is one of the driving forces of the island’s economy and the first choice bank for thousands of Praslinois.

Although the branch was officially opened on the 2nd November, it had been open for business since the 18th September 2002, providing an almost identical range of banking products and services as the head office on Mahé.

The decision had been taken ahead of the Praslin expansion that the portfolio of loans, deposits and other services offered by the bank would be as broad as those provided at the head office, as the Nouvobanq Board of Directors recognized that the non-commercial customers’ needs were the same, and that the rapid expansion of tourism on Praslin had ensured that a complete suite of commercial banking products were also required.

Today, amongst the services provided by Nouvobanq on Praslin are:
• Savings, Checking and Deposit accounts,
• Bureau de change,
• Cheque books,
• Cash withdrawals and deposits,
• Mobile banking,
• Safe deposits,
• Private and business loans,
• Overdraft facilities.
• Western Union Services (International Money Transfers)

The range of services available and a reputation for customer care enabled the Praslin branch to rapidly expand its customer base. After the first year of operation the branch had attracted 540 customers. Today the branch boasts 2,766 customers, a mix of corporate and private accounts, and is one of the key banking service providers on the island, thanks in part to the ease of service access. As a branch bank the Praslin Nouvobanq covers all aspects of daily banking transactions at a single point, unlike the larger head office in Victoria, where different aspects are handled by different departments.

As well as enabling the bank to meet, greet and assist its clients directly, the Praslin branch of Nouvobanq has also facilitated the bank’s roll-out of additional services on the island. Using the branch as a hub, Nouvobanq began expanding its provision to businesses of Visa debit card machines, which were fully operational by 2005, and which continue to grow in popularity both for local shoppers and tourist visitors to Praslin. The branch also coordinated the set-up of Nouvobanq’s first ATM on Praslin, which was installed in the Cote D’or area in 2007.

The choice of the Cote D’or for the bank’s first ATM was a strategic decision based on the requirement to meet the needs of the local community at the same time as supporting the Praslin tourist industry. The key industry on Praslin and the largest employer on the island, the tourism industry has been central to Nouvobanq’s activity on the island. Today the branch counts many of Praslin’s tourism businesses, from the largest hotels to the smallest guest houses, amongst its clients, and has adapted its services to meet the needs of all manner of tourism businesses, from restaurants and boat charters to taxis and tour guides.

Who We Are

When the doors opened in September 2002, Nouvobanq Praslin employed nine members of staff and – a testament the bank’s role in the local community – it is still staffed by five of the original members of staff. Of the five who have been at the branch since opening day are two members of staff who had worked with Nouvobanq even before it opened its Praslin branch. Assistant Manager, Agnes Quatre, started work with Nouvobanq as a cashier on Mahé in 2000, before moving to Praslin for the new branch opening and has steadily worked her way up in the company. The longest serving employee, however, is Selwyn Michaud-Payet (see Employee Profile).

The Next Ten Years

The first item on the Nouvobanq Praslin plan is to extend the bank’s ATM services. Plans are in place and negotiations underway to add the Grand Anse area to the bank’s ATM network, giving customers on the south coast of Praslin quick and easy access to their accounts around the clock.

The single most important project for the near future, however, is the development of purpose built, Nouvobanq-owned premises for the bank. Talks are underway for the construction of a dedicated Praslin office for Nouvobanq, expected to be situated in the Baie Ste Anne area.

As the branch’s portfolio of services and customer base has grown, so the need to operate in a larger, better equipped bank has arisen and the Nouvobanq Board of Directors are in the process of finalizing plans for a more comfortable, efficient building, better able to meet their customers’ needs.

Even while work is underway on the upgrade of the Nouvobanq facilities on Praslin, the bank is committed to maintaining the key attribute that ensured the last ten years of success: customer service.


Staff in the spotlight: Selwyn Michaud-Payet

The small Nouvobanq team that staff the Nouvobanq Praslin branch are led by veteran Mr Michaud-PayetNouvobanq employee, Selwyn Michaud-Payet, whose service with the bank started even before Nouvobanq had come into existence.

Mr Michaud-Payet began his banking career in 1980 with Standard Chartered bank in Victoria, which was later to become Nouvobanq. While the bank was still Standard Chartered he was posted on overseas attachments to Ghana and Zimbabwe, which gave him invaluable banking experience ahead of the transformation of Standard Chartered in Seychelles into Nouvobanq, in 1991.

“I held various positions from Customer Service Clerk and Cashier and worked in the Trade Department, Foreign Exchange and Audit. When we changed into Nouvobanq I was promoted to Supervisor and held a position in the Credit and Loan Department,” explained Mr Michaud-Payet.

With experience across the bank’s range of services, and the training and ability to lead, Mr Michaud-Payet was the natural choice to take the responsibility of managing the new branch when plans for the Praslin expansion were under discussion.

“The decision to establish the branch on Praslin was taken based on demand from the island but also it was part of the company’s vision for expansion,” he said.

After ten years in charge of Nouvobanq on Praslin, Mr Michaud-Payet is proud of the bank’s achievements, as a business and as a member of the community.

“We have never refused to donate to just causes and we have recently agreed on a scholarship,” he said of the bank’s corporate social responsibility policy.

Of even greater importance than the bank’s direct charitable donations is its impact as an engine of growth on the island.

“We have always supported businesses in the tourism industry. On Praslin the tourism industry is by far the biggest employer and we know that every time we support a business with any of our products we are helping to increase investment, increase the number of visitors and create new jobs on Praslin.”

Married for 25 years, Mr Michaud-Payet is the proud father of three children and has four grandchildren, and, despite coming from Glacis on Mahé, he has made Praslin his home.


Message from the Chairman

“It’s all about the customer”

The success of Nouvobanq – in any way that such a term can be measured, be it in Nouvobanq Chairman, Mr Mohamed Afifreturning a profit to the bank’s shareholders or in increasing the number of account holders – has been based on a constant commitment to putting the customer first. Our banking ethos has been to provide our customers with the services that work for them, confident that happy customers are loyal customers and that loyal customers drive the bank to prosper and grow.

This commitment to customer satisfaction is evident today, in everything from the growth of our ATM network to our diverse portfolio of customer services, but one of the clearest indications of Nouvobanq’s unwavering customer-first policy came ten years ago with the opening of our Praslin branch office.

We understood that the people of Praslin, their families and their businesses, needed the same wide range of banking services, the same easy account access and the same friendly, professional staff, as their counterparts on Mahé.

We recognized the increasing size and professionalism of Praslin’s tourist industry and understood that this industry, and the many businesses which support it, would demand the same international-quality products and services that Nouvobanq was proudly providing on Mahé.

We acted on this understanding in 2002 when we opened our branch office at Baie Ste Anne, Praslin, and I am proud to say that the last ten years have brought success for our bank and our customers.

Today the staff in our branch on Praslin, and in all the Nouvobanq offices, continue to put our customers first and thanks to their determination and hard work I know that I can look forward with confidence to the next ten years of prosperity for Nouvobanq and its customers.


Message from the Managing Director

Banking on growth

Nouvobanq Managing Director, Ahmed SaeedA good bank can provide the capital that allows a new business to flourish, that helps a family buy their home, that makes a savings account grow, and it was to make this happen that 10 years ago the Nouvobanq Board of Directors, in consultation with the Government of Seychelles and its financial authorities, opened its doors on Praslin.

From our first day of operation on Praslin we have worked hard to be an engine of growth for the Praslin economy. Each new business that has started with a Nouvobanq loan has been a new employer. Each hotel expansion that has been funded by Nouvobanq has welcomed more tourists who have contributed more to the local economy. Each boutique that has been set up with Nouvobanq financing has earned foreign exchange which has been injected directly into the local economy.

Supporting local growth and job creation has been central to our work on Praslin and I am delighted by the success stories which we have been able to play a part in.

And I can express my unreserved pride in the work that the small but dedicated team of Nouvobanq staff on Praslin have achieved in only 10 years.  They have established Nouvobanq as the first choice for banking on Praslin, for businesses and individuals.

They have worked hard to ensure that targets are met and goals achieved. Most importantly, they have cemented the bank’s reputation for customer service, in part by adhering to our customer focused operating policies and, in equal measure, through their warmth, friendliness and simply as members of the community they serve.

The thanks of the entire Nouvobanq family are extended to them for their dedication, commitment and hard work which has made Nouvobanq an integral part of the Praslin economy and, I hope, society.

And I also thank the people of Praslin for choosing Nouvobanq, in ever increasing numbers, and placing their confidence in the bank to keep its promise of always putting them first.


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