President Banda about to unveil the First National Bank plaque during the launch in Lusaka
President Banda about to unveil the First National Bank plaque during the launch in Lusaka

President Rupiah Banda has said Zambia’s business environment has remained stable and has continued to attract foreign investors despite the effects of the global economic crisis.

President Banda said Zambia has continued to record foreign investment in a number of sectors, among them the banking sector in the recent past, noting that this was testimony that the country’s economy was growing.

Mr. Banda was speaking at Lusaka’s Intercontinental hotel today when he launched the First National Bank (FNB).

He said it was important that the economic growth was supported by an efficient and effective financial sector.

“Increased economic activity demands a wide range of banking products and services which should be tailored to meet the new business challenges,” he said.

President Banda said in the last three years, the banking industry in Zambia has been steadily growing in total assets averaging at 30 per cent annually.

“Of this growth, almost 60 per cent was on account of net loans and advances largely to the private sector. This suggests to me that the economy is growing,” he said.

President Banda said the banking sector was one of the most important sectors to the growth of the economy because it provides finance to individuals and corporate entities for business activities.

He said the opening of FNB-Zambia would further promote the existing businesses and provide an environment that is conducive for investment opportunities, which subsequently should stimulate economic growth.

He hoped that FNB would help reduce the cost of bank services in the sector.

The President also urged banks to be innovative in the ways of providing access to short, medium and long term finances to Zambians.

“I similarly urge all commercial banks to move away from “arm chair banking” to making credit available to deserving customers at affordable rates,” he said.

President Banda added that by performing an effective intermediary role, banks would complement government’s efforts to enhance economic development in the country.

He however expressed concern that banks were still lending money at high interest rates and bank changes in Zambia, the development he said was discouraging average Zambians from accessing financial services.

President Banda added that the high interest rates on bank borrowing and other bank charges, particularly on deposit accounts, have made loans very expensive thereby increasing the level of loan delinquencies in the financial sector.

“Arising from this and due to generally low rates on deposits, there is a real risk that both savings and investments may be discouraged and threaten the tangible progress our economy has thus far recorded,” he stressed.

He further said such high rates have since disadvantaged micro, small and medium enterprises, which are important to the national economic growth.

And FND-South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Michael Jordaan, said his bank decided to open branches in Zambia because of the country’s sound investment and business opportunities.

Dr. Jordaan said Zambia has continued to offer a friendly business and risk free political environment, despite the global economic crisis.

Meanwhile, South African High Commissioner to Zambia, Moses Chikane said the two countries have long historical political, social and economic relations.

Mr. Chikane the opening of FNB in Zambia was one way of strengthening the existing economic relations between Zambia and South Africa.

He observed that lack of access to financial services was a major hindrance to the growth of the private sector in any country.

He said FNB would increase the tax revenue base for the Zambian government and help alleviate poverty through job creation.

The new bank already employs 96 Zambian professionals and hopes to increase the number as it expands.

Mr. Chikane said improved financial services in the Southern African region will drive the countries to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

And Deputy Minister of Finance, Chileshe Kapwepwe said the increased investments between Zambia and other Southern African countries was a manifestation of the South-to-South cooperation.

FNB originated from South Africa in 1838 and is present in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and now in Zambia.
In Zambia, the bank already has three branches, two in Lusaka and one in Ndola on the Copperbelt province.

ZANIS

[Read 17 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

24 COMMENTS

  1. That is all he knows; doing things that his ministers are suppose to do. You are headed for a big fall. He is everywhere doing nothing that can enhance national development. Shameless old man

    0

    0
  2. Atleast today I can say I was number one!!

    This is Good for job creation!!! atleats a few will have something to talk about.

    0

    0
  3. There he goes again. I think this man wants his name on everything new that opens. What’s up with people trying to be the first to comment. I think it is ridiculous. Let’s hear your thoughts.

    0

    0
  4. This is a very good development. FNB is a very good and reliable bank and their investment in Zambia will be greatly appreciated.

    Competition in the banking industry is very important more especially to the growth of the nation and the development of our financial sector. Competition has the potential to drop down interest rates and bring about innovation in the banking sector. It would be interesting to see how FNB and Access as new players will fare against successful ZANACO. The development of Zambia’s financial sector is very exciting indeed. Good job govt.

    Sharp Shooter

    The Nigerian banking industry is growing at a very fast pace and is one of the development indicators in Nigeria. I would not write off Access Bank as quickly as you have.

    0

    0
  5. This has nothing to do RB. BOZ Licencing , capital injection, regulatory compliance all happened as far 2006/2007. This was LPM’s work. The bank has been operating from the beginnng of the year. Ndola branch last year. Imwe guys do you come to Zambia? This bank has been visible. H/O is housed with The other Nigerian even bigger than Access (forgotten its name, at the intended FTJ institute next to Arcades. I must say that area is looking so nice, sharp and Financial!. makes you a little proud. Finance, Stanchart, Stanbic Across the road at new hotel..

    0

    0
  6. All you people are missing the point,why can’t we have Zambian owned banks?is there anyone zambian with shares in FNB?do they allow you to set up banks in SA?how are they going to declare profits in Zambia or SA?all sectors in Zambia are dead if Zambians are not leading,no one has your interests if they tell you thet are lying,if we have any civil upheaval do you know whats going to happen to these companies?yes!!! but if we,Zambians are in charge why should i destroy were i get my food?get the point?WAKE-UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

    0

    0
  7. Amayi Tilikuseli Change Fwaka #11 mwanipweteka muchifuba nanseko. How did you remember this one? I remembered this kama terminology when I was in Lundazi in 1980s. Obvious you are from East. Kanani tione Malume? Wow thanks so much for your intelligence because the wise can from East so we are. But you are really good at preserving terminologies. MMD has been able to launch this bank but they closed the London and Johannesburg Commercial Zambia National Bank brunches through their Kafupi and Zamtroop account deals. Be embarrassed ba chuchu ba Mwadia Mweka Daddy (MMD).

    0

    0
  8. Banda Mature Leader – Chiefs

    27 October 2009
    Email|Print|Comment
    Share:
    “LUAPULA Royal Foundation (LRF) has pledged total support for President Rupiah Banda for the mature manner he has led Zambia since he became president.
    The LRF is happy with Mr Banda for continuing with Zambia’s development projects aimed at bettering people’s lives in the country.
    In an interview yesterday, spokesperson for the LRF Chief Chisunka said as traditional leaders, the royal highnesses were aware that development could only be initiated and achieved once they worked with the Government of the day and not the opposition.”
    FOOLS FROM LUAPULA ARE AT IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0

    0
  9. Greetings, #11 that wisdom is profound. 85 percent of Americans including myself are employed by viable small businesses. These small businesses are owned by Americans a d foreign nationals such as Africans thatare eventually naturalized as citizens. The owner of my company is like a father to us and works alongside his employees thus production and moral is maximized. Maybe Zambia needs to move further east for that hidden wisdom in Lundazi and Chama; for local investors holdup and pay the majority of taxes period (US cencus burea).

    0

    0
  10. I think I can now finally go back home limbi FNB zambia will employ me….nomba my only problem is the kind of experienc I have. In pursuit of greener pastures in diaspora, I have suffered enough eh…not long ago i was in England eh…trying to get work I ended up working for BBC (British Bum Cleaners), moved to America the land of dreams, I ended up for ABC (American Bum Cleaners). Now am in South Africa, and am still working for a similar company, SABC (South African Bum Cleaners) coz I can’t get a permit! Nachula sana ma guys…!!!

    0

    0
  11. Hello please read the patrick and Miko war of words on the Post. These little fools has wedged this beef between families. what started as a sincere and amicable concern has turned out to be some kaponya thing. Can some one remind these boyz that Zambia is for all and will not again run in family trees. its for every one.

    0

    0
  12. FNB bank is the most damn expensive bank for ordinary zambians have alot of charges. Bravo finance and commerical bank peoples banks

    0

    0
  13. The epitome of a President not having things to do.This opening fimo fimo could have been done by BOZ governor.

    0

    0
  14. This is what we need. Attracting investors from fellow African countries. I hope Zanaco can open a branch in Jo’burg.

    0

    0
  15. balitutola!!!! president opening a branch? everyone excited that a poor country is attracting so much FDI, its all smoke n’ mirrors, banking and the promotion of credit will lead to Zambians getting into the Debt-trap, bankers are the worst capitalist, they create money from thin air, and we welcome them as FDI. open your eyes. we need education to reduce some of this ignorance.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.