THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has said innovative financial products when well managed and regulated can be a key driver to the development of a successful financial market.
BoZ Governor Michael Gondwe said these innovations would have the effect of bridging the gap in the missing financial market niches, increasing financial inclusion and lowering the cost of credit.
Dr Gondwe said this in Ndola yesterday when he graced the official opening of the Investrust Bank Plc's President Avenue and Buteko Road branches.
"Some emerging market economies have successfully established and grown their financial systems by developing innovative financial products.
"These and other initiatives will tell us that the challenge is establishing appropriate financial products and systems that meet the unique needs of our economy," he said.
He said financial institutions should explore the potential of increased investments in Ndola and the Copperbelt province as a whole.
Dr Gondwe said the opening of the two branches by Investrust in Ndola would broaden the array of products and services available for individual Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME's) and corporate customers.
"The various industrial and agricultural projects in the province require financial services to thrive, and there is ready demand for financial services especially from sub-contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the mining industry in the province," he said.
Dr Gondwe commended Investrust for positively responding to the Central Bank's call to increase access to financial services in the country by embarking on a commendable national branch expansion initiative.
Investrust bank managing director Friday Ndhlovu said the institution, having operated in Zambia for the last 17 years now, would continue providing products and services that delivered quality financial and non-financial solutions to stakeholders.
"The bank has put in place strategies to ensure delivery of quality financial and non-financial solutions to our customers in line with our mission statement and in the last three months, we have opened four branches including the two we are opening today," he said.
Mr Ndhlovu pledged that the institution which already had 25 branches across Zambia would quickly spread its presence across Ndola through innovative banking channels to bring financial services closer to the local people.