NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
FORMER Bank of Zambia governor Dr Michael Gondwe has been awarded an honourary fellowship for his outstanding contribution to the financial sector and the Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services (ZIBFS).
And Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe says while many institutions globally failed as a result of the global financial crisis, no single bank closed down in Zambia.
Ms Mwanakatwe attributed this to good risk management that has resulted in strong financial systems that are able to withstand internal and external market shocks.
She said this in a speech read for her by deputy minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Miles Sampa during the ZIBFS 24th annual ball held in Lusaka.
â€œFinancial institutions need to ensure that they have good risk management processes to instil customer confidence.
However, the sector should not become complacent. It should continue to sharpen its risk management skills for the sustainability of the sector,â€ she said.
Under the theme â€˜Redefining the Financial Services Sectorâ€™, Ms Mwanakatwe said financial institutions need to get as close to the customers as possible and potential clients through various delivery channels.
To this effect, she implored all financial institutions to utilise the ZIBFS in training their staff to provide good customer service.
She said financial institutions should ensure that financial inclusion particularly for the rural population is always a priority in their growth strategy for broad-based national development.
Ms Mwanakatwe said pricing of products in terms of interest rates and other fees should be realistic and affordable to an ordinary customer.
She said skilled staff are critical in this area as financial institutions need them to develop appropriate and low costs.
And ZIBFS president Cephas Chabu said the institute has continued to provide technical training courses and urged all financial institutions to nominate their staff for the workshops.
He said the fact that customers are always complaining about poor customer service and redundant processes is an indicator that staff in financial institutions require further training.
Mr Chabu congratulated all members of ZIBFS who were awarded associates, fellowships and other awards.
NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka