The Independent (Kampala)

2 January 2014

Uganda: Executive Style - Transforming Into a Commercial Bank

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What is your reading of the future of the financial services industry in Uganda generally?

The future holds a liberal customer who is highly informed about the financing options and with a variety of financial institutions. Branchless banking shall take over and cash transactions are likely to reduce as people embrace electronic money transfer and payment systems such as mobile banking.

The high lending rates in Uganda have been a big issue. How best can banks offer loans at affordable terms but also remain profitable?

Bank interest rates are driven by the cost of funding. Banks can only offer loans on affordable terms only if they can drive their cost of funding lower. This involves sourcing for cheap deposits and increasing efficiency to cut out unnecessary processes that turn out to make credit more expensive.

Where do you want to see Finance Trust Bank in in the next five years?

We want Finance Trust Bank to be the most-preferred and most-affordable micro finance bank in Uganda in the next five years.

Finally, taking an institution of this stature through a major transition like this one is not an easy task. How are you managing the situation?

Well, Finance Trust Bank has a team of young and innovative staff that has been very instrumental in the transformation process. I intend to continue relying on this very competent team to deliver value for our customers and ensuring sustainability.

We are proud to be the first indigenous institution to successfully transform from an MDI to a commercial bank. This definitely provides a big opportunity to our customers to grow with us.

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