National Bank of Malawi(NBM) has come under fire from some small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other clients over the way it handles them when they apply for loans.
The customers said this forces them to open accounts with other banks or to seek the services from microfinance institutions (MFIs).
The sentiments were expressed on Saturday during a meeting NBM organised to interact with its clients in Mzimba District and sensitise them on various products and services. The bank also briefed the SMEs on how they can manage their businesses.
However, a number of SMEs at the function expressed disappointment with the way the bank handles them and called for a change in the bank’s loan policies.
They claimed the bank demands a lot from the them such that in most cases many of them fail to access loans or if do, the purpose of the loan is defeated as the bank takes long to process the loans.
Nelson Nyirenda, a contractor, said he was frustrated with the way the bank handled him when he requested for a K4 million loan to top up his capital after he had winning three contracts worth K50 million.
He said despite having a stable account with National Bank for eight years, the bank refused to give him the loan and he was forced to borrow money from a MFI and a friend.
NBM head of personal and business banking Oswin Kasunda said the banking industry is a competitive sector, hence it is natural that people will from time to time try other banks when disappointed.
He said: “There will always be people that will be disappointed. People will be disappointed because they have been denied a facility and obviously they will want to try somewhere else.” n