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Lenders suspend loans to civil servants over K1.9 billion unpaid remittances

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Lending institutions under the Malawi Microfinance Network (MANM), including savings and credit cooperatives (Saccos), have suspended lending to civil servants following government’s failure to remit K1.9 billion in deducted loan repayments from the civil servants since 2013.

The Ministry of Finance says, however, records at the Accountant General’s office show much less figures than what is being claimed by the micro-finance institutions which have since been asked to submit detailed reconciliations to facilitate appropriate settlement by the government.

MAMN Executive Director, Duncan Phulusa, said in an interview on Monday that the network’s 20-plus members have agreed to suspend lending to the civil servants until the government remits the outstanding deductions.

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“This has greatly affected operations of our member institutions, some of whom are failing to provide fresh lending to applicants,” said Phulusa.

Some of the institutions are also failing to maintain minimum capital adequacy limits as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of Malawi, according to Phulusa.

A notice dated December 14, 2015 from MANM states that the suspension of lending to civil servants was a result of ongoing non-remittance of deductions made from the civil servants’ salaries by various government ministries and departments over the past 12-18 months.

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Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Nations Msowoya — in a written response to a questionnaire, said because of the different figures for the claim between the government and the institutions, a meeting between the two parties took place last year where it was resolved that the institutions should submit detailed reconciliations to the Accountant General’s office by November 2015.

“Unfortunately, we noted a notice from MAMN about their intention to stop offering loans to civil servants,” said Msowoya.

Some of MAMN’s members include Blue, GetBucks, CCODE, CISP, Comsip, Cumo, Finca, Hunger Project, Medef, Microloan Foundation, Musco, MRFC, Nabw, Opportunity Bank, Pride Malawi, Vision Find and others.

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