Metrofile's Mozambique operation has, in less than two years, become integral to the effective running of the region’s financial sector with the recent award of a tender to provide records management services for Barclays Bank. As a result, Metrofile Mozambique now provides services to 80% of the large financial institutions operating in the country.

Metrofile’s relationship with Barclays Bank started back in the 1980s, prior to its divestment of what is now First National Bank, and has remained strong ever since. The relationship was also stepped up a gear last year with their acquisition of the ABSA group. The Mozambique award cements that relationship even further and will result in an initial take-on by Metrofile of around 22 000 boxes, almost doubling the number of boxes currently stored by the Maputo branch.
"Metrofile only extended its services into Mozambique some 18 months ago, and since then we have grown quickly. Mozambique has a rapidly growing economy that is striving to move away from clumsy manual storage and archiving to more modern and transparent methods of records management. We are proud to be part of this advancing trend," says Artur Martins, GM of Metrofile.
Metrofile's Maputo branch went to tender for the business in October, to sort and store tens of thousands of boxes of documents for Barclays Bank in Mozambique. The project, which is estimated to take around three months to complete, involves collecting, sorting and confidentially destroying and recycling redundant records, before indexing and repacking those that need to be retained in the Metrofile storage facility.
The first phase of the project will ensure that Barclays’ meets growing market demands and their FICA and FASE obligations. Metrofile has already destroyed and recycled unnecessary documents that were past their retention period, and has brought the total number of boxes needing to be stored down from 30 000 to 22 000.
The second phase will ensure that records are properly categorised, indexed and stored in a way that makes them accessible and which substantially reduces the risks of records being misplaced, damaged or lost. The logistics involved in this phase were one of the reasons why Metrofile was successful in being awarded the tender. Many of the records are currently stored in regional branches, some of which are as much as 2 000km away from Maputo. Metrofile will be sorting these records on site, destroying what can be destroyed, before transporting the rest to their final location in Maputo where a more formal audit will be undertaken.
"The logistical challenges of this project were mainly focused around moving the boxes to Metrofile's facility in Maputo. With roads being notoriously bad and huge distances to be travelled, this is no easy feat, but Metrofile has planned around this and will move the boxes carefully and consistently using reliable couriers," says Martins.
Apart from providing a full offsite storage solution, Metrofile has also set about to train around seven of Barclays staff members on the new archiving and storage system and to make certain they are au fait with the transition from their current manual method of archiving to Metrofile’s automated system. On a much smaller scale, the project also entails the scanning of some of the documents, but is primarily an offsite storage solution for Barclays Bank.