KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
AB Bank Zambia (ABZ) has this year set aside K283 million for loan disbursements to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to help boost their businesses.
Bank chief executive officer Armando Sirolla said ABZ is aware of the challenges that MSMEs face in acquiring finance to create wealth and jobs for the local people.
Mr Sirolla said in an interview recently, that currently, ABZ has a total of 13, 250 clients under micro with an outstanding amount of K72 million.
He said the bank has 323 customers under the small and medium enterprises segment with a volume of K50 million.
“We have this year set aside K173 million for micro-entrepreneurs, and K110 million for SMEs. Our plan is to increase loan beneficiaries in the years to come. As a bank, we know the biggest challenge SMEs face is lack of access to finance and we are here to bridge the gap, and this will not only create wealth, but will also contribute to economic growth,” Mr Sirolla said.
He said MSMEs remain key in boosting revenue collection and reducing poverty, hence the need to develop products that will supplement Government’s efforts in addressing various challenges affecting the business sector.
Mr Sirolla said ABZ aims to evolve into one of the leading providers of financial services to various target groups in Zambia and to set industry standards in terms of the speed, ease and quality banking and loan services.
He said the strategy of the bank in the next five years, is to increase loan disbursements to increase financial access among people in rural areas.