20 districts in need of banks

BANK of Zambia (BoZ) says 20 districts in the country lack commercial banks and basic financial services.
BoZ says 84 districts had either a bank or a non-bank financial institution as at December last year.
The districts without banking or a non-banking financial institutions include Chikankata, Chipili, Chitambo, Luampa, Luano, Lunga, Masaiti, Mitete, Mulobezi, Mwansabombwe, Nalolo, Ngabwe, Nsama, Rufunsa, Shiwang’andu, Sikongo, Sioma, Vubwi and Zimba.
Head of public relations Kanguya Mayondi said BoZ will continue encouraging commercial banks and other financial institutions to open branches in rural areas to promote financial inclusion.
Mr Mayondi told journalists on the side-lines of the financial education media workshop on Monday that, despite the number of districts increasing, the unbanked areas have reduced.
“We have not been doing very well when it comes to having financial inclusion spread to rural areas. A study conducted at one time revealed that we were actually standing at 33 percent of the population that was banked or indeed bankable.
“We want the percentage to grow over to 50 percent. We have had meetings with commercial banks urging them open branches in rural areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, head of financial sector development unit Musapenda Phiri said there is need for the media to partner with the BoZ in disseminating information on the upcoming financial literacy week in March 2015.
Mr Phiri said to this effect, the central bank will be hosting seminars on financial literacy initiatives for stakeholders in readiness for financial literacy week.
“BoZ is happy to work through partnerships such as media houses to disseminate information to various target groups,” he said.

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