The International Bank for Trade and Industry at Mali (BICIM) is a subsidiary of the BNP Paribas Group and is headquartered in Bamako, Mali. Although BICIM has operated in Mali since 1999, it underwent an extensive revamping of its activities under its new business model in 2016-17. With recent interactions with Mr. Samir Mezine, chief executive officer of BICIM, we found out that BICIM had taken its responsibility to support Mali’s economic development seriously by providing financial backing to productive sectors of the economy. On further discussions, he shared the bank’s aims and goals in progressing to provide a customized service to its clients.
The very first thing he shared was the significant ways in which BICIM had worked and continues to stand tall between its banking peers within the local market. He said, “At BICIM, our sales officers adopt a posture adapted to each segment of clients in their portfolios. Each client has a dedicated account manager who provides a personalized client journey. The account manager is at the client’s service to answer his expectations and support him in achieving his projects.” There are action plans which are taken as soon as the client enters the relationship with the bank, which would be carried out by their support, like Frequent follow-up with clients , Visits onsite, Specific and adapted products or solutions (mainly related to cash management). “BICIM’s ambition is to become the bank with the closest relationships with its clients. This is why BICIM organizes interactive training sessions with its clients once a year in order to enable them to discover the bank’s global offer and the innovations to come. We make available to our clients business experts dedicated to financial wealth management, cash management, trade finance, trading room, international trade and leasing, in addition to the account managers responsible for the management of accounts, to give customers the best possible routes in our bank.” He considers that whatever the initiatives taken by them and mentioned above are unique in Mali and it was that makes BICIM stand above in the market.
Next, he shared about his 20 years of operation and what had been the bank’s highlight in success making and what had been the biggest challenge the bank had to face. He believed that the bank’s biggest success was itself the biggest challenge and said, “Indeed, in 2016, BICIM set up the biggest challenge that a company can face: the change of business model. The bank started focusing on a niche market, “prestige” customers and big corporate clients, by improving its offer and adjusting its sales system. This new approach resulted in the closing of six branches and several thousand accounts on our books in order to concentrate our efforts on fewer high-level clients. Today, we can conclude that BICIM has brilliantly taken up the challenge of this new positioning in our market.”
When asked about the satisfaction he shared with the retail banking products offered by BICIM , he said that he was rather satisfied when compared to his competitors. As the products offered were among the best in the market in the terms of stability, security, reliability and performance. “Setting up a chatbot on our institutional websites and our social networks would assure continuity of our services 24 hours a day—for example, answering any questions from customers and offering our products and services remotely, even in the event of unavailability or inaccessibility to the bank and the account manager.”
To conclude by the single biggest goal achieved as the CEO he said, “My single biggest goal was to change the bank. I succeeded in promoting a new vision of a bank in Mali, a bank more oriented on responsible and social values. I launched the first art exhibition in the bank, BICIM Amie des Arts, in 2018 and 2019. I also launched the first BICIM Jazz Night in 2018 and in 2019 to promote the music of Mali with a jazz footprint. I’m proud to say that our bank and my teams are definitively different and more responsible.”