Banking sector remains resilient


THE banking sector remained resilient during economic challenges encountered between 2015 and last year due to the upward adjustment of the minimum capital requirement for commercial banks, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) says.
In 2012,   BoZ increased the minimum capital requirements for commercial banks, rising to K104 million from K12 million for local commercial banks, while foreign commercial banks increased to K520 million to enable them participate effectively in national economic growth and become more resilient to economic shocks.
BoZ assistant director of bank supervision Raphael Kasonde, who was speaking when he officiated at the commissioning of First National Bank (FNB) Society Business Park branch yesterday, said the banking sector will continue on firm footing as the economy shows signs of recovery.
“The economic outlook is positive, we are coming from a period of high inflation and Kwacha depreciation, but the banks remained resilient,” he said.
Mr Kasonde also said there is need to intensify the use of electronic payments to expand financial services, especially to unbanked communities and boost economic activity.
“We want to see a shift towards electronic banking as printing cash is expensive,” he said.
On FNB, Mr Kasonde hailed the bank for pioneering in electronic banking and other innovations that have contributed to the effective delivery of banking services to the public.
He said he is happy that FNB, which has been on the market for only eight years, has continued to record growth and is currently the fifth largest bank in terms of loans and advances and sixth in terms of deposits.
At the same occasion, FNB managing director Leonard Haynes expressed optimism in the recovery of the economy and said the bank will continue to play a significant role in the growth of the economy.
Mr Haynes said the bank, which is one of the leading banks in supporting the agriculture sector, will continue to support growth sectors.
“With the improvement in the economic and business performance, our customers can look forward to more affordable credit and enhanced access to various financial services,” he said.

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