Banking fraternity progresses in financial inclusion

THE banking sector has made progress in the promotion of financial inclusion, projecting an increase in the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society.
Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) anticipates the country’s financial inclusion levels to reach 80 percent by 2022 from the current 59 percent due to increased sensitisation on the importance of embracing formal financial services.
BAZ chairperson Charles Mudiwa said during the official launch of the Financial Literacy Week on Tuesday that players in the sector will continue to create programmes to promote financial literacy because majority of the people will not contribute to economic development without financial inclusion.
This year’s financial literacy week is under the theme ‘Know and plan your finances to live a better life’ and will run from March 27 to April 2, 2017.
“One of the stumbling blocks to financial inclusion is literacy because most people don’t understand the financial world and are scared to take part.
“Financial literacy is something all should have interest in and have a better understanding and by 2022, we would like to reach 80 percent from 59 percent, we would like everyone to have access to financial services,” Mr Mudiwa said.
He commended the Ministry of General Education for introducing a curriculum on financial education in the syllabus as it will help pupils in their life.
And Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said banks should ensure they offer services that appeal to a common man who is not allergic to using financial services but does not want to be over-charged.
“There is need for equity in the financial sector, which means we must share and prosper at the same time. Financial inclusion will begin to happen if there is equity. The language must be simple if we are to reach the 80 percent target,” he said.
And Bank of Zambia governor Denny Kalyalya said financial education, inclusion and mobilisation of savings are pillars for financial stability and national economic development.

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