19 December 2012

Zambia: PABS Ready to Use Rebased Kwacha

THE PAN African Building Society (PABS) has said it is ready to start using the rebased Kwacha in all its branches after investing more than K250 million in machinery and personnel training to conform to changes in all local currency transactions.

PABS chief executive officer Mkuzo Kuwani said yesterday that the company had successfully completed its software upgrade.

"We have completed the software changes to our management information system to accommodate the rebasing with assistance of software and systems experts who have been on site for the last month," he said.

Mr Kuwani said PABS had successfully done test runs and the company's management and staff were expected to go on leave on January 1, 2013 without any problems.

He also said PABS was set to break the record for being the first financial institution offering banking services to the business community and the general public in Mpongwe District in the rural part of the Copperbelt which has never had any commercial bank.

He said preparations for opening the Mpongwe branch in January next year had reached an advanced stage.

The branch would be opened in January because that was the period when all new automated teller machines would be able activated.

He said a number of compelling factors prompted PABs to go for business opportunities which Mpongwe was offering.

The factors include the area being unbanked for a long period of time, with the nearest banking services being in Luanshya, about 80 kilometres from Mpongwe.

Mr Kuwani said Mpongwe had several commercial farming operations along with Government institutions such as schools and private sector entities all requiring banking services that were in close proximity to their operations.

He also said Mpongwe had an annual maize and other crop buying exercise in the area estimated at K86 billion which requires a safe conduit for exchange.

Mr Kuwani said opening a branch in Mpongwe was viable business for PABS which had done a cost benefit analysis.

He said PABS' findings showed that the revenue that could be generated from facilitating the maize purchasing exercise and providing banking services to the employees of the private and public entities in the area alone would be adequate to meet the cost of operating the branch.

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