The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has touted the launch of the Blantyre, Nsanje and Chikwawa Savings and Credit Cooperative (BNC Sacco) as a step towards boosting financial inclusion.
Speaking at the launch of the BNC Sacco main branch at Nchalo in Chikwawa on Wednesday, RBM director responsible for macro-finance and capital markets supervision Lanjesi Sinoya—who represented the central bank governor Dalitso Kabambe—commended the development as a step towards achieving inclusiveness.
He said: “We have been putting in some efforts to ensure that financial services are evenly distributed to the rural people and this is one of the ways we are looking for.”
Sinoya challenged the Sacco management to ensure sustainability which, he said, can be achieved through the involvement of the youth and observance of good governance and honesty in repayment of the loans.
He asked BNC Sacco to open more points of representation in rural areas to take financial services to communities.
Sinoya also tipped off the Sacco to collaborate with mobile money wallets providers, Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) Mpamba and Airtel Money, to reduce the distance and costs for members to cash and deposit funds.
BNC Sacco board chairperson Patrick Magomero said the branch will be the headquarters of the Sacco which will also have offices in Nsanje and at Lunzu in Blantyre.
Currently, BNC Sacco has 3 000 members across the three districts and K4 295 000 as their share capital.
He said: “Our main goal is to become a leading financial provider in the Southern Region.”
On his part, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Muscco) technical services coordinator Wisdom Chikanga said the Sacco movement in the country is growing financially despite the dwindling numbers of membership.
BNC Sacco was created in May 2017 with funds from United States Agency for International Development through United in Building and Advancing Life Expectation (Ubale) to address the challenges of limited access to financial services of small-scale farmers in Blantyre Rural, Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.n