A report by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has shown that the number of Malawians with access to banking services has increased by 9% since 2008 when the last survey was conducted. However, the increase is still lower than policy targets which have set a national goal of reaching 40% of the population with banking services by the year 2015.
Slow progress has been attributed to the delays in the enactment of the Micro finance Bill which was only turned into an act in 2011. This in turn has hampered the central banks’ efforts in licensing deposit-taking micro-finance institutions.
At present, only 30 percent of the money released onto the market by the Reserve Bank ends up in banks. According to RBM’s Director of Micro-finance and Capital Markets Supervision, Hastings Mzoma, another survey to check the uptake of financial institutions in the country will be done in 2016.
The central bank has organised a National Financial literacy week to try to encourage the population to learn more about financial matters so that they can manage their finances by accessing banking and other financial services in the country.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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