Increase depositors’ interest rates – Chikwanda

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MINISTER of Finance Alexander Chikwanda has appealed to commercial banks to consider increasing interest rates for depositors so that they can also feel the benefits of the country’s economic growth.
He was speaking during the official opening of Investust Bank Choma branch at the weekend.
Mr Chikwanda said there is a huge mismatch between the interest rates the banks charge borrowers and the rates they give to their depositors.
He said Government will continue seeking to engage the banking sector on reducing depositors’ interest rates so that ordinary citizens benefit from Government initiatives.
Mr Chikwanda said Zambia has enterprising companies and citizens whose role in national development has been significant and that Government is encouraged by the support.
He commended Investrust Bank for opening the 24th branch in the country saying the role the bank is playing in job creation and supplementing Government’s national development efforts cannot go unnoticed.
The minister appealed to stakeholders in the country to help Government meet the various programmes it is implementing for national development.
Mr Chikwanda said various players contribute differently in the development of the economy, but that Government is at that centre of any progress that has to be made.
“We are happy that there is private sector support in the development of our country. This outside support, like the support we receive from Investrust Bank, is in the best interest of the nation.
“Banks play a big role in the development of the economy by lending to our people,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda said Government’s open-door policy to engage the private sector in the development of the country is at the centre of the Patriotic Front (PF)’s agenda for national development.
Speaking earlier, Investrust Bank managing director Friday Ndhlovu said the bank desires to support Government’s initiatives at all levels.
Mr Ndhlovu said Investrust Bank has demonstrated that the private sector in the country is willing to work with the government.
He said following the relocation of the provincial capital of Southern Province from Livingstone to Choma, the bank immediately decided to set up a branch in the area in line with Government’s vision of rural development.
“The opening up of the Choma branch will complement Government’s efforts to create jobs for the ordinary Zambians,” he said.
The Choma Investrust Bank branch was renovated at a cost of K3.5 million and all employees are local.
It boasts of over 1,000 shares listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange.
The bank is expected to open another outlet in Western Province this week.

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