By Gwendoline Mugauri
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially opened the long awaited Empower Bank Limited – which is a development oriented, deposit taking micro bank aimed at providing social and financial solutions to the financially excluded population, particularly the youth.
Addressing youths, captains of industry and bankers during the official opening of the bank at Celebration Centre in Harare this morning, President Mnangagwa said the Empower Bank is aimed at focusing on financial inclusion as government continues to create a conducive environment for youth participation in economic development.
He added that government hoped that the establishment of the bank would assist in integrating the vast number of people who do not bank money for various reasons.
Charging of exorbitant bank fees slammed
President Mnangagwa also slammed the charging of exorbitant minimum balances and transaction fees by most financial institutions in the country.
He said the new bank should re-embrace the culture of saving and rewarding depositors to maintain competitiveness and attractiveness, which he said would ultimately enhance stability in the financial services sector.
Bank urged to be flexible
President Mnangagwa called upon the newly opened Empower Bank and other financial institution to adopt a flexible banking system that acknowledges and accommodates the country’s current economic atmosphere.
He said Government together with the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe was totally committed to the success of the bank while also urging it to support all levels of industry value chains especially the rural system – which is still in its infancy.