Opening of FNB bank cheers BOZ

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Opening of FNB bank cheers BOZ

Solwezi, June 10, ZANIS ——–Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor, Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula has implored First National Bank (FNB) to take time and assess the needs of different categories of people in Solwezi and North-Western province a s a whole and come up with banking products that will serve all clusters especially low income groups.

Dr Kankasa-Mabula noted that Solwezi is a fast growing town and it is expected that many micro and small enterprises engaged in various forms of retail trading and manufacturing will emerge to support the giant mining operations in the area.

She said this during the official launch of First National Bank branch in Solwezi today which brings the number of FNB branches to 10 countrywide.

She said Bank of Zambia and government under the Financial Sector Development Plan has placed access to finance particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) high on the list of priorities because SMEs are the engine of economic growth and employment creation.

Dr Kankasa-Mabula said the Bank of Zambia therefore expects that as FNB expands on branch network, it will complement its physical expansion with product innovations that are suitable for SMEs and the communities they serve.

She said while there is need to ensure that only credible persons are given access to financial services, banks should avoid placing unreasonable and onerous conditions for opening bank accounts or for accessing bank loans and other financial services.

She expressed happiness that FNB’s focus is lending to productive individuals and small scale enterprises, saying that is a welcome effort because those sectors have previously been marginalized on the basis of perceived high risk.

Dr Kankasa-Mabula said banks and other financial institutions can mitigate the risks by assisting the small businesses to develop management and entrepreneurial skills.

She therefore, urged all banks to revamp their advisory role in order to ensure small businesses manage their affairs in a productive and prudent manner.

And in a vote of thanks, FNB Chief Executive Officer, Sarel van Zyl assured the people and the business community in the province that the bank will always be their partner in any business sector to ensure that they grow their businesses.