Set flexible loan conditions, banks urged

THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has advised commercial banks to avoid placing unreasonable conditions for accessing loans and opening bank accounts to enhance financial inclusion in the country.
BoZ governor Michael Gondwe said while there is need to ensure that credible people are given access to financial services, financial institutions should streamline the banking process to make it easy for people to access services.
“In this regard, [BoZ is] working with financial institutions to streamline the banking process to make it simple…BoZ in 2011 issued guidelines on simplified customer due diligence to enable majority Zambians have access to services,” he said.
Dr Gondwe said this when he officiated at the opening of the fifth AB Bank last week in Chelston.
He said AB bank branch expansion, particularly in residential areas, is a milestone in providing financial services closer to the communities.
“The growth and expansion of banks in suburbs such as Chelston, closer to the population, is an important role for banks to play in the effort of making it easier to access services closer to home,” he said.
Dr Gondwe also commended the bank for focusing on lending to micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), saying the development is bridging the financial gap.
He, however, urged financial institutions to strengthen financial literacy programmes to assist MSMEs to properly manage financial affairs.

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