Banks urged to offer municipal bonds
Minister of Local Government Blessings Chinsinga has asked commercial banks to consider providing municipal bonds that would facilitate accelerated infrastructure development in councils.
Chinsinga said councils are currently failing to undertake capital projects such as building schools, health facilities and improving roads due to lack of financial resources, hence the need for the intervention of the banking sector.
He minister made the remarks in Lilongwe last week during a networking dinner Standard Bank organised for chief executive officers (CEOs) and district commissioners (DCs).
“Local governments require extra sources of funding to meet growing demands for urbanisation, respond to environmental and natural resource crises and implementation of projects. There are many ways through which banks could help meet such short and medium term demands for funding.
“In other countries, banks support the issuance of municipal bonds or invest directly in infrastructure which is then leased to local governments and do collect revenue directly. It is my hope that Standard Bank can consider these funding modalities,” Chinsinga said.
He then hailed Standard Bank for investing in digital capabilities and acquisition of omnipresent transactional platforms such as Unayo to respond to customer needs.
Standard Bank Chief Executive Officer Phillip Madinga said the bank is committed to playing its role in finding common solutions to the country’s socio-economic problems.
Madinga said the bank was keen to strengthen its relationship with the government, its various departments, and organs as part of the strategy to promote and make private and public partnership work for the benefit of the people.
“Standard Bank has had a strong relationship with key the DCs, which has unfortunately been eroded over time due to unreconciled queries, shifting dynamics in the payments and banking landscape and generally low engagement levels between the bank and DCs across the country,” he said