Friday, January 16, 2009

Investrust MD calls for policies that encourage indigenous bank ownership

Investrust MD calls for policies that encourage indigenous bank ownership
Written by Florence Bupe
Friday, January 16, 2009 5:01:15 AM

INVESTRUST Bank Plc managing director Friday Ndhlovu has called on the government to encourage Zambian ownership of banks through conducive policies.

And Ndhlovu has disclosed that the bank was in consultation with international organisations to try and outsource funds for increased lending portfolio.

Speaking during the signing ceremony of the collective agreement between Investrust Bank and unionised staff under the Zambia Union of Financial, Industrial and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) on Wednesday, Ndhlovu said the government needed to put in place policies that would encourage the growth of the financial sector through indigenous ownership.

“We have been approached by many banks asking to buy us out, but we have always turned down these offers,” Ndhlovu said. “We want to continue being an indigenous Zambian bank, and government must put in place policies that will increase the ownership of banks by Zambians.”

And in an interview, Ndhlovu said although the bank had not been entirely spared by the global financial crisis, mitigation measures had been instituted to ensure that it continued to grow.

“As a bank, we have continued to grow, though at a lesser rate. To ensure our continued growth, we have put in place measures to increase our share of the loan market,” Ndhlovu said. “We are trying to access credit from international organisations in a bid to increase our loan portfolio.”

Ndhlovu also said the bank was increasing its presence in the country as a means of raising the level of business.

He also said the bank was trying to control its operational costs in a bid to stabilise lending rates.

He expressed hope that the country’s inflation rate, currently standing at 16.6 per cent, would be contained and possibly reduced, to lower the chances of increased lending rates.

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