9 November 2012

Tanzania: Introduce Mobile Units in New Regions, Banks Urged

Dodoma — BANKS have been advised to put in place mobile units in newly established regions and districts as surveys for establishment of branches in those areas continue.

The Deputy Minister for Finance, Ms Janet Mbene, told the National Assembly that the government had already communicated to banks on the matter as a way of taking financial services closer to people. She was responding to a question by Dr Lucy Nkya (Morogoro South-East-CCM) who wanted to know the government's plan in influencing banks to open branches in smaller towns, to bring the service closer to people.

Ms Mbene, however, advised that the best way that will assure people in such areas of reliable financial services will be through establishing Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (Saccos)."Establishment of Saccos for people in rural areas is the only best way that can assure them of better financial services as banks need to be sure of big business before opening branches in a particular place," she said.

Ms Mbene noted that the government understands the importance of banking services going closer to people. "The government's responsibility is to put in place enabling environment for investments to take place but we have no influence over the banks' decisions over where to open branches," she said.

She added that banks will not open branches until they are sure of making profit and other factors such as infrastructure and security were also a hindrance for them to operate in some places. Ms Mbene noted that communities were also encouraged to follow procedures and open up community banks.

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