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Ecobank says economy remains challenging

Ecobank Malawi says despite recording positive strides in the first half of the year, the operating environment has remained prohibitive for doing business.

Ecobank Chief Executive Officer, Charles Asiedu, said this on the sidelines of a cocktail party the bank hosted for its customers to unveil new products.

He cited high lending rates, coupled with soaring inflation, as major deterrents to growth of most businesses.

“These are not new things to Ecobank and these are no new situations in the African content. Unfortunately, we found ourself on a continent with all kinds of challenges,” said Asiedu.

He said one of the most obvious risks of the high lending rates was high default.

Asiedu linked the high lending rates to the inflationary regime which, he said, is in line with challenges in terms of food prices in the country.

“For a bank like Ecobank, the role we have to play is to cooperate and to support the system to be able to overcome the challenge and we believe that over the past six months we have done fairly a descent job,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ecobank has also reiterated its commitment to help narrow the existing gap in financial inclusion.

According to Asiedu, the bank also eyes expanding its electronic banking platforms in the short to medium term.

He said, through the initiative, the bank eyes to bring business to the doorsteps of the customer.

“This is through our mobile banking platforms and point of sale terminals as well as pre-paid cards,” he said.

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