National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has disbursed about MK1 billion in loans to vendors from Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu through Taoloka Finance since its onset in September last year.
NBM plc Head of Retail Banking Oswin Kasunda disclosed this during the Bank’s interaction with vendors in Zomba on Wednesday, September 6, 2013.
According to Kasunda, the response for the vendors has been good as the Bank managed to open 1100 new accounts for vendors, hence the interaction to give them feedback on how the Taoloka Finance has performed.
“We have disbursed loans close to MK1 billion and the performance has been good. And one thing that I must say on the onset is that although we are talking of some people not paying, to a larger extent, the vendors have performed well,” said Kasunda.
While responding to a plea from a Zomba cross-border trader who asked the Bank to prioritize them in forex trading, Kasunda encouraged small business owners to start producing enough goods for exports to contribute to the country’s foreign exchange.
“Forex is derived from exports, if everybody is engaging in the business of importing products and services, we will continue to have no forex.
“What we need to do as a country is to go into an extra drive to produce for exports. So, the little forex that we have as a Bank we try as much as possible to share among our customers,” he said.
Zomba Vendors Union Vice Chairperson Feston Kachepa said Taoloka Finance has helped to boost their businesses since it was launched.
“We have benefited a lot, the only challenge we have is the penalty one has to pay for failing to service their loans, however, as you have heard, management has promised to look into the matter,” said Kachepa