ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA National Building Society (ZNBS) has in the last six months disbursed loans worth over K138. 6 million compared to over K46.1 million paid during the same period last year.
The society also disbursed mortgages worth K14.1 million during the period under review compared to K21.4 million given out last year.
ZNBS managing director Joseph Chikolwa has attributed the increase in loan uptake to the signing of memoranda of agreement with the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) for refinancing of public service employees’ loans and Mopani Copper Mine (MCM).
In response to a query recently, Mr Chikolwa said the initiative to engage PSMD and MCM has led to an increase in the application of personal loans from civil servants and miners.
“The total loans disbursement between January and June 2017 was K138,610,327.75 compared to K46,124,620.85 disbursed during the same period in 2016. The bulk of these loans is being used by clients to purchase land and to construct houses.
“Although these loans are unsecured and salary-backed, the deductions of repayments are through standing order instructions. The portfolio has also been insured against loss arising from loss of employment, death and permanent disability,” he said.
On mortgages, Mr Chikolwa attributed the low uptake of mortgages to the higher interest rates which stood at 22.5 percent during the period compared to last year at 19.5 percent per annum.
He said interest rates have started to trend downwards and the society expects the rates to fall even further.
Mr Chikolwa said ZNBS is reviewing its mortgage model to make it more user-friendly and to attract more customers, especially first-time home buyers, the youth and women.
“ZNBS has between January and June 2017 disbursed mortgages worth K14,072,488.37 compared to K21,432,537.96 disbursed last year during the same period.
“The mortgage portfolio stands at 1,212 mortgage accounts with a value of K177,158, 326.49,” he said.