FDH Bank, one of the country’s commercial banks, has pledged to support artisanal, small-scale mining (ASM) sector with the provision of much-needed capital investment and support export requirements for the sector, among others.
The bank’s chief executive officer, Philip Madinga, said this last week in Lilongwe at a two-day symposium on ASM policy review, that the role of the bank in the sub-sector is to build capacity, provide access to finance, offer technical support and promote investments.
On access to finance, he said the bank will continue to offer ASM players quick loans and trade finance lines as well as helping to facilitate opening of special foreign currency denominated accounts (FCDA) for small-scale miners.
Madinga said recently, the bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, which he said is aimed at promoting and
empowering small-scale miners in Malawi given the significant role they play to the economy.
“It is time for banks to take their rightful position to support this emerging sector here in Malawi. As FDH Bank, we take much pride to be the first bank to take this bold step in enhancing the birth and development of this new thriving ASM sector,” said Madinga.
He said FDH Bank brand of ‘Grow With Us’ resonates with their focus of supporting small-scale businesses in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, which the ASM segment belongs to.
Madinga said the bank is currently running financial literacy programmes for the players in the ASM sector, which ensure miners access finance easily from both local and international banks.
Early this year, FDH Bank participated in the mining indaba, an event held annually in Cape Town, South Africa, where it noted that small-scale miners face similar challenges to those that were tackled at the event.