Malawi Savings Bank (MSB), a wholly-owned government bank, says it has placed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at the core of their business strategy because of their potential to generate employment and economic growth.
The bank’s chief executive officer Ian Bonongwe said this on Saturday at the opening of their Zomba branch, bringing the number to nine countrywide.
“All we require as a bank is that entrepreneurs must live up to their word and possess the required credit discipline for a better relationship,” said Bonongwe, adding that the bank does not hesitate to assist a group of Malawian entrepreneurs.
Studies have shown that SMEs employ 1.7 million people in Malawi, translating to 38 percent of the total labour force and contributing about 17 percent to gross domestic product (GDP).
Bonongwe said the bank, touted to have the widest reach, seeks to continuously improve on its service delivery and a range of banking products offered to the market.
He said it was befitting for the bank to open a branch in the old capitalÂ because Zomba has an important place in the history of Malawi.
On his part, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Deputy Governor responsible for financial supervision Dr Grant Kabango hailed the bank for making strides in entrepreneurial development by supporting SMEs, especially indigenous Malawians.
“This is of great importance to the Malawi economy since private sector development is the driver of growth and should, therefore, be supported by Malawian banks,” he said.
Kabango said the central bank will strive to create a conducing environment for the operation of commercial banks through its supervisory and monitoring role to ensure efficiency in the system.
MSB has 38 agencies and 11 Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) collection points countrywide.