Download Full Report

Generated by AI, inspired by African Innovation


Unlocking the full potential
of our diverse and
talented communities.

Lines of business and digital transformation

As the headwinds from Covid-19 started dissipating in 2022 and the economy started to slowly recover, we saw the emergence of several new headwinds due to the global macro-economic and geo-political conditions leading to inflation and a steep increase in interest rates. These created quite a challenging environment for PFS. 

  • Notwithstanding, PFS remained focused on its core priorities: 
  • Becoming a mortgage powerhouse as anchor-points for deep, meaningful relationships with target clients.
  • Introducing offshore banking to mass affluent clients in the SSA region.

Accelerate our digital transformation to enhance the experience we deliver to our clients, as part of the Bank’s overall transformation programme. 

Mortgage powerhouse

Our mortgage was awarded “Mortgage Product of the Year 2022”, based on its features and benefits as well as the overall customer experience delivered, by The Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards programme from The Digital Banker, an international magazine and awarding body based outside Singapore. It recognises the world’s most cutting-edge retail banks that are setting new benchmarks in service delivery, product innovation, customer experience, and more. 

To reinforce our positioning as a one-stop-shop for customers’ financial needs, we expanded our insurance partner network in 2022 to offer a more comprehensive range of insurance solutions. It enabled PFS to also meet the linked insurance requirements for the majority of our new mortgage customers in one seamless journey. 

Offshore banking

Bank One’s Elite proposition was enhanced in 2022 to better target serve the needs of mass affluent offshore customers in the SSA region, with streamlined onboarding processes and a suite of bundled solutions tailored for target segments. It helped the business line experience a steady growth, driven primarily by our enhanced collaboration with I&M Group entities. We have a substantial growth ambition for this segment in the coming years, particularly as referral arrangements with key introducer groups get embedded and we accelerate direct marketing initiatives. 

After two years of pandemic and at the dawn of 2023, the Mauritian economy remains subject to uncertainties linked to global pressures. Mauritius will also weather the global economic storm in 2023, due to its heavy reliance on energy and food imports, making the country vulnerable to recent global price spikes for these products. 

Overall, the economic recovery from the pandemic will continue in 2023, but at a slower pace given the weak external economic outlook resulting from the war in Ukraine as well as the past depreciation of the rupee, reflecting lower growth in trading partners and prospects for tourist flows, and worsening in terms of trade.

Considering the current volatile economic conditions, rising interest rate environment and low level of visibility on the future, the Bank has remained prudent in growing its corporate assets. The CBD assets book suffered a contraction compared to December 2021, with the prepayment of some large corporate exposures and the exit of some other high-risk clients. However, the CBD penetrated further in the Real Estate Segment, which generated fees and foreign exchange income. CBD continues its strategy to extend its support to existing/new corporate clients, on both the mid-corporate segments and Top 100 companies. In parallel, some expensive deposits were deliberately allowed to run off earlier during the year, but CBD is working on new or refreshed deposit products to attract Rs liquidity for future growth.

CBD alco focused on the implementation of various strategies to boost transactional flows and product cross-selling in terms of trade financing. Additionally, our established presence in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) market has helped improve profitability growth on the domestic corporate side. 

Our focus on the digital transformation journey remains vital to better serve our clients on their daily trade and transactional activities.

The ensuing conflict following the 2022 “Black Swan” event, in the form of the Russia/Ukraine crisis, triggered a new set of challenges globally, particularly hard-hit economies comprising the International Banking Department (IBD)’s core SSA target market. The region, which was on the cusp of a strong post-Covid recovery, was significantly impacted by the resultant sharp rise in energy and soft commodity prices, coupled with a historic hike in interest rates. This triggered shortages of fuel, food and forex across the
African sub-continent.

In response to these challenges, IBD stepped up to its ethos of providing “Uniquely African Solutions to Uniquely African Challenges”. By leveraging our networks and partnerships as well as our intimate knowledge of the region, Bank One was able to develop innovative solutions and win several key large mandates to assist our clients in coping with the exogenous shocks.  

During the year under review, the IBD team was able to structure, execute and lead arrange 5 significant syndicated transactions alongside our partner banks and institutional investors, to deploy much needed hard currency liquidity and trade finance facilities, disbursed to clients across 13 African countries targeted at Central Banks, Top Tier Financial Institutions, Regional Microfinance Institutions and African Regional Corporates.

The Bank was pleased to be assigned an external Credit Rating of BB- Stable Outlook by Fitch Ratings in June 2022, which was recently affirmed in January 2023. This rating positioned the Bank amongst the top 25 rated banks in Africa. As a result of the confidence demonstrated in the Bank by the rating agency and, consequentially, the wider investor community, the business registered a commendable growth in its deposit base.

As part of its diversification strategy, IBD also introduced two new business lines to enhance its product suite, as well as generate incremental and diversified revenue streams. The Trade Finance business is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, to facilitate trade flows within SSA as well as imports of strategic commodities such as energy products, fertilisers and pharmaceuticals, to support Africa’s growth story. The Structured Solutions team was created to develop bespoke financing solutions tailor -made to our clients’ individual requirements in the chosen target markets. 

To this end, we are pleased to announce that Bank One has partnered with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide partial risk guarantees and risk defeasance solutions, in order to identify good opportunities and de-risk complex transactions, as well as provide thought leadership and trusted advisor status to our clients who will continue to operate in particularly challenging environments in the outlook period.

PBWM’s clientele includes High Net worth Individuals (HNWI), external Asset Managers, financial institutions, Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) and pension funds. To enhance its offering and customer experience, further investments have been made to improve the custody platform.

2022 has been a good year for PBWM as the department has benefitted from the volatile market to increase its trade volumes compared to the previous year, thus generating fees as well as trading income.

There has also been an increase in the assets under custody portfolio which resulted in a lower deposit base in 2022. The objective of PBWM is to continue to add new names to its existing portfolio of financial institutions, while continue to serve its existing client base and improve its contribution towards the Bank’s profitability.

PBWM continues to grow both its personal and institutional customer base and is positive about the opportunities to grow its business alongside its shareholders in SSA.

During the year, PBWM was recognised as the “Best Private Banking in Mauritius” by Global Finance Magazine.

The past year has witnessed central banks across the world using all their might into fighting inflation with several rounds of interest rate hikes and the end of negative interest rates. 

The BOM has also been very active on all fronts. On the foreign exchange market, despite the pick-up in the tourism sector
post-pandemic period, the currency shortage persisted. To contain market volatility, the central bank intervened regularly, selling a total of USD 845 million to the market. This helped the local currency change course, strengthening from a depreciation of 6.45% last year to 2.15% according the BOMs MERI2 Index, which is based on the currency distribution of the merchandise trade and tourism earnings.

On the interest rate front, the fight against inflation saw the central bank hiking the key repo rates several times, taking it from a record low of 1.85% to 4.50%. Several products were set out to contain the surplus Rs liquidity on the local market, which helped bring down the surplus from Rs 27 billion starting 2022 to close the year at Rs 13 billion.

The BOM will be introducing a new Monetary Policy Framework as from 2023, to further strengthen monetary policy operations and transmission mechanism with a flexible inflation target focus.

The Treasury Department has managed a decent performance during 2022, and continues to strive towards the SSA strategy by adding new product offerings while increasing its customer base across the region.

Transformation of our digital channels started yielding results in 2022, with the launch of new state-of-the-art internet and mobile banking platforms. The aim of this transition is to offer a refreshed customer experience and better meet our customers’ evolving lifestyles.

Additionally, a new digital onboarding solution was launched in 2022 to simplify the account opening process for both onshore and offshore segments, with supporting workflow capabilities to ensure a superior experience for both existing and new clients. 

In parallel, POP continues to go from strength to strength with over 20,000 users! POP was awarded the “Outstanding Digital CX” award in the payments category at the Digital CX Awards 2022, hosted by The Digital Banker. The Digital CX Awards recognise the outstanding efforts of key players in the financial services industry, who have embarked on digital transformation journeys to rethink their business model and adopt a customer-centric approach. Several new innovative features are planned to be released on POP in the following year, ensuring it remains a preferred payment app in Mauritius.

A key milestone for 2022 was the migration of our debit and credit cards portfolio from Visa to Mastercard in Q4, to deliver a suite of additional benefits to clients in the form of cashback, protection and priceless experiences. Over the following years, the cards proposition will be further enhanced to better meet the needs of our clients.

Risk Management

The report focuses on the holistic process involved in integrated risk management of the Bank and the result outcomes that assist the Bank in reaching its strategic objectives. 

Risk defence model

The Bank currently employs a three-level defence model which works as follows: 

  1. The first line (Business Groups) takes ownership of the risks from end to end. 
  2. There is independent risk oversight through the various empowered Risk and Compliance second line functions.  
  3. The third line (Internal Audit) provides additional independent review and assurance. 
The Bank continues to embed an objective-centric Enterprise Risk Management approach to ensure the Risk and Control functions add value to the Bank’s strategic objectives.


  1. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in action
    1. Support to Ferney Valley Conservation Trust – Bank One reforestation area
    2. Partnering with CIEL FOUNDATION/ACTogether in delivering PRO-Workshops to 18 NGOs
    3. Long term support to the Ecole Père Henri Souchon administered by NGO Oasis de Paix
  1. Bank One Sustainability Journey: From Sustainability to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Principles
    1. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
    2. Implementation of a climate-related and environmental financial risk management framework

Ⓒ Bank One. All rights reserved.
Designed and developed by Beyond Communications.

Fuelling the community’s collective wealth by empowering individual success.

Unlocking the full potential of our diverse and talented communities.

Heading towards the future while staying rooted in our values.

Embracing our sense
of purpose for the
greater good.

Inspiring a legacy for the forthcoming generations.

Nurturing intracontinental relationships that make us collectively stronger.

Guillaume Passebecq

Head of Private Banking & Wealth Management

Guillaume Passebecq is an International School of Management (IDRAC) graduate who has spent his entire career in the banking sector. He started off as a Portfolio Manager at B* capital Paris, the BNP Paribas brokerage house in 1999. In 2007, he was appointed as Head of Sales at BNP Paribas Personal Investors Luxembourg. He joined AfrAsia Bank in 2014 and was subsequently appointed as Head of Private Banking. 

Guillaume joined Bank One as the Head of Private Banking in March 2017. He brought along the needed expertise to uplift the Private Banking offer. Following the setting up of the International Custody Platform, Securities Services and the External Wealth Managers Desk, our clients, both high-net-worth and institutional now have the tools for their wealth management experience. The Bank’s array of clients has also been widened to accommodate Asset Managers, Investment Funds, Pension Funds, Family Offices and Financial Intermediaries through a one stop shop and open architecture model.