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National Bank pledges interest rate cuts

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One of the country’s high street banks, National Bank of Malawi, has pledged to continue reducing its lending interest rates to suit the needs of its customers.

This was said during an interaction the bank had with human resource managers from various companies and organisations in Lilongwe.

The interaction was meant to familiarise the HR managers with some of the bank’s lending initiatives and other services.

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Hot during the discussions was the high interest rates attached to loans which the managers described as the major setback when seeking financial services from commercial banks.

This is similar to what industry captains and entrepreneurs have been asking the government to consider, as high lending interest rates are denying the industry sector to grow.

Currently, commercial banks are offering between 33 and 43 percent interest on loans.

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National Bank’s Head of Personal and Business Banking Division, Oswin Kasunda, emphasised that interest rates are a reflection of the performance of the economy, hence the stance by commercial banks in coming up with the rates.

He went on to share the government’s optimism that the rates will continue to drop owing to bumper yields expected in maize production.

“When the Reserve Bank reduced the policy rate, we followed suit and reduced our base lending rate, we will continue to do that because when interest rates are high, the number of customers getting loans is reduced. In order to increase the numbers, we must reduce our rate but that depends on the performance of the economy,” Kasunda said.

The policy rate is currently at 22 percent.

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