- Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 02:59
- Written by A Correspondent
- Hits: 1087
FOR a strong, robust and sustainable economy, it is necessary for Tanzanians, the poor in particular, to start spending less and saving more. Despite the rising cost of living, Tanzanians must save.
Experts have proven beyond doubt that saving culture is vital for an individual wellbeing, society and country at large.
As one of stakeholders in trying to instill this culture, Bank of Africa Tanzania has been struggling to campaign and launch various products in realizing this.
Our correspondent talked to the bank’s Managing Director, Mr Ammish Owusu-Amoah on the Deposit Campaign which among other things seeks to cultivate that culture. Read on…
THINK of the situation where people in our country should be competing to see who can invest and save the most instead of seeing who drives the latest cars, has the most expensive clothes and goes to the most expensive restaurants.
Surely, this could be one step ahead toward building a strong personal financial base and eventually viable nation’s economy. This is the trend that the Bank of Africa Tanzania is trying to set. This is what the bank’s Managing Director; Mr Ammish Owusu-Amoah explains when he was talking of the ongoing deposit campaign whose main message is Grow and Win.
Explaining, he singled out saving culture as one of the requisites for growing businesses and creating a secure future in the country. He says that savings is a habit that has eluded many Africans and it is very important that as a nation, Tanzania do all that is possible to develop this habit, hence the idea of the deposit campaign which seeks to encourage the bank’s customers and noncustomers to fatten their accounts and open new ones.
“We all lament about the low percentage of the banking population despite having over 40 banks,” he says, adding that the bank’s initiative seek to change that trend. He explains that research has proven that nations which have high savings rate have also high investment rate.
“Bank of Africa Tanzania is committed to help develop a culture of serving,” he says, adding that the message should go to all SMEs and corporate clients that they should be able to grow their accounts and also get something from the bank. He says the campaign targets both current and new customers as well as staff within the bank.
“We expect that those with accounts will continue to bank and grow their deposits in both their current and saving accounts…those who are not banking at all have to make sure that they stop keeping their money under the bed and pillows and enjoy our services,” he notes adding that as they will grow deposit or open accounts there will be some prizes. He names some of the prizes as fridges, and home theatres.
The bank will also be offering attractive interest rates to customers. “No matter what prize you will win, everybody will get up to 10 per cent interest rates, so we want to encourage people to take advantage of this campaign and increase return of their savings,” he emphasizes.
The campaign that started in May in different stages will run up to July this year. The bank has been in a vigorous expansion drive seeking to offer better services to customers. Since it started operations in the country in 2007, the bank has managed to open ten branches in Dar es Salaam and six branches outside Dar es Salaam in Morogoro, Tunduma, Mwanza, Moshi, Mbeya and Arusha.
This is not the first time that the bank has initiated campaigns to stimulate the saving culture in Tanzania. Earlier, driven with the customers increasing requirement for better services from financial institutions, the bank had launched a Smart Junior Investor Account to match that demand.
On this account, the MD said that the account opened late last year is designed for the younger generation provides the ideal mix independence that children desire but still instilling a sense of responsibility and offers flexibility for the parents to save and plan for the future financial needs for their children.
Mr Owusu-Amoah says that some of the benefits of the account are four free withdrawals a year to give room for school fees payment, competitive interest rate of up to 4.5 per cent, free standing order facility that allows a fixed sum be moved into the children’s account regularly, and secure a loan of up to 30 per cent against deposit.
Others are low interest earning balance, coin bank to be issued to children, and education insurance policy cover which is optional. Bank of Africa Tanzania is a part of a Pan African bank called Bank of Africa Group. The Group operates in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Senegal);
and in East Africa (Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda). It is also present in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in France. In addition to its 14 commercial banks, the Group also includes a finance company, a housing bank, a leasing company, one brokerage and two investment firms, as well as a management company and a representative office in Paris.