CYNTHIA MWALE, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has urged financial institutions to take on board customersâ€™ needs as they prosper to jointly contribute to wealth and job creation for the development of the country.
Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said it is important for banks to be innovative to come up with products that promote financial inclusion as a way Government can also benefit from taxes.
Mr Mutati said this when he officiated at a Standard Chartered Bank welcome cocktail for its newly-appointed chief executive officer Herman Kasekende on Friday night.
â€œGovernment is not shy when people make moneyâ€¦As the most profitable bank in Zambia, Standard Chartered Bank is best placed to partner with Government to offer financing solutions.
â€œIf we are to prosper together with our clients, there should be equity. As the most profitable bank, do not cash in aloneâ€¦Innovation is about making unusual products such as the use of chickens and goats as collateral,â€ he told the gathering amid laughter.
Earlier, Standard Chartered Bank board chairman Michael Mundashi said:
â€œAs a bank that has been operating in Zambia for 110 years, we boast that we have a deep understanding of the market and this enables us to provide innovative products and services specifically tailored to meet your [clientsâ€™] needs.
â€œIn this way, we believe we make a difference to the economy.â€
He assured Government of the bankâ€™s commitment to Zambiaâ€™s long-term economic development and that it will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the communities by undertaking various projects in the country.
â€œOur philosophy of doing business is simply captured by this phrase in our mission statement: â€˜We are here for goodâ€™, and we will continue to be here for good,â€ he said.
And Mr Kasekende said there are a number of business opportunities which investors are eyeing.
â€œAs a business, the bank sees opportunities in the energy, mining, agriculture and construction sectors, among others.
â€œThis is an exciting time to do business in Zambia. There is a lot of excitement amongst investors out there about Zambiaâ€™s economic prospects â€“ all eyes are indeed on Zambia,â€ he said.
Mr Kasekende cited a stable exchange rate, reduced interest rates and inflation at a single digit as clear positive shoots of economic recovery.
CYNTHIA MWALE, Lusaka