FDH Bank officially opened its branch in the lakeshore district of Mangochi on Friday with the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) praising it for its speedy response to delivery of the financial inclusion charter launched last year.
Â The financial inclusion charter declares the commitment of the countryâ€™s commercial banks to provide products and services specifically designed to reach the unbanked population.
A survey conducted by Finscope in 2008 indicated that a paltry 19 percent of the population in Malawi is banked in the formal banking platform, with 26 percent having access to other informal banking services, thereby leaving 55 percent of the population financially excluded.
RBM deputy governor responsible for supervision of financial services Dr Grant Kabango noted that the bank is fully committed to service customers by engaging its expansion strategy to service the rural people.
â€œI would like to encourage various players on the market not to relax in efforts to extend their outreach. In a highly competitive market, banks have challenges to compete on the quality of services,â€ he said.
Generally, he said the central bank is proud that the financial institutions in Malawi survived the global economic meltdown in 2008 with resilience largely because of the â€œstringent supervision provided by RBM and the impact of well-capitalised and managed financial institutionsâ€.
On his part, FDH Bank managing director Jimmy Kayuni said the bank has launched an aggressive network expansion campaign with nine branches countrywide.
â€œThe extension of our services to Mangochi is one way of achieving the financial inclusion initiative,â€ he said, adding that the bank understands the needs of their customers because its shareholders are local.
The bankâ€™s board chairperson Dr Erick Sankhulani said after the opening of the Mangochi branch, the first point in the Eastern Region, their next destination is Zomba.
He said the bank will soon introduce mobile vans to reach out to all the people with their banking services.
The launch was, among others, attended by FDH Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer Thom Mpinganjira and other residents of the district.
FDH Bank is a subsidiary of FDH Financial Holdings Limited.