Following the recent successful launch of their Vehicle and Asset finance product in Zambia, First National Bank Zambia (FNB) yesterday officially launched their home loans product to the Zambian market at Lusaka’s Inter Continental Hotel.
The main features of the FNB home loans product are flexible pricing, terms and accessibility appropriately suited to the local market. The launch is most timely, taking into consideration the increasing consumer demand for houses, the few options available for affordable housing finance, the recent decrease in the base lending rates and Government’s priority to increase the number of low to medium cost housing units in the country. FNB Zambia becomes the fifth retail financial institution to provide property finance in the country. The Honourable Minister of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection, Professor Nkandu Luo was in attendance as Guest of Honour.
Speaking at the launch, FNB Zambia Chief Executive Officer Sarel van Zyl said: “The home loans product will give our customers access to housing finance for the purpose of buying, renovating, building and releasing equity out of their asset at a competitive and flexible pricing structure.” He further added: “the launch of the home loans product is just one example of our commitment to innovation across our entire range of retail banking products to be introduced in Zambia”.
FNB offers a comprehensive range of retail lending products including mortgage loans, vehicle and asset finance, personal and business loans to Zambian nationals and residents.
During the past decade, significant investments in key sectors and the overall infrastructure of Zambia has led to solid economic growth and a budding property market. Unfortunately, the shortage of housing units has remained large due to the low effective demand brought about by affordability factors such as low formal employment levels, low income and the high cost of borrowing.
Housing finance is said to be starved of credit options and many consumers yearn for innovative options to finance the purchase of a home. Research in the local market further indicates that short term loans and high interest rates significantly increase repayments, thereby making the dreams of many Zambians to own their own house impossible. In line with FNB Zambia’s vision to “Create a Better World” and with the above mentioned in mind, FNB developed their home loans product for its Zambian clientele.
FNB is proud to be the first bank in Zambia to introduce a product that will allow home buyers to get an upfront bond. An upfront bond is a pre-approved certificate that displays the amount of finance that has been approved in principal by the bank for which the customer qualifies, before they start looking for a house.
Honourable Nkandu Luo commented: “Residential finance has remained expensive and unaffordable for the majority of Zambians with the largest growth in the housing sector being self-build projects as individuals purchase land around the major cities and build their own houses over a period of 3 – 7 years. It is timely that FNB Zambia has entered the local property finance market, offering an alternative option on flexible as well as innovative pricing and terms.”
Regular income earners, who are either FNB or non-FNB clients, will be eligible to access FNB’s innovative range of home loans finance facilities, which includes a home owner’s and credit life insurance policy that provides cover against death, permanent disability and critical illness, a quick response time and a maximum repayment period of 20 years at affordable interest rates.
“FNB hopes this venture will give a great boost to the housing sector, empower Zambians and contribute immensely to the economic growth of the country. These are all part of FNB Zambia’s continued strategy to contribute towards local development and growth”, concluded van Zyl.