31 August 2009

Tanzania: Dar Catholics Launch Bank

Dar Es Salaam — The Roman Catholic Church in Dar es Salaam has opened a commercial bank. Mkombozi Commercial Bank, (which is Swahili word for saviour) was opened to the general public on August 28 last week at its headquarters of St. Joseph Cathedral Church in Dar es Salaam. Officials said it would target small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and low-end market clientele.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Dar es Salaam Archdiocese, Method Kilaini said earlier in the week that the bank had already joined the Umoja switch, an arrangement, which enables the clients to withdrawal cash from several automated teller machines (ATMs).

The Umoja consortium includes banks like Bank of Africa (BoA), Azania Bank, Twiga Bancorp, Akiba Commercial Bank (ACB), Dar es Salaam Community Bank (DCB), Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB) and Access Bank.

Bishop Kilaini said the diocese, parishes, other religious organizations and individuals from different religious backgrounds had bought shares in the new bank.

Mkombozi Commercial Bank has started with TShs6.8 billion ($5 million) capital raised from investors purchasing shares at Tsh1,000 ($0.75). The minimum one could purchase was 100 shares each.

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