By Silvia Nyambura
Government is still not looking into the option of capping bank interest rates, David Bahati the Minister of State for Finance and Planning has said. Instead, they will continue to pressure commercial banks to reduce the said rates to ensure Ugandans have affordable access to credit.
Speaking at the opening of United Bank of Africa’s (UBA) new head office along Jinja Road on Friday 31st March 2017, Bahati said, “It should be within every bank’s first commitment to serve its customers better. A bank must prudently manage and protect depositor’s money, review its risk management systems and be steadfast in ensuring the sector is safe and sound. It is also every bank’s responsibility to ensure affordable access to credit and financial services. We will therefore, as government, continue to lobby for lower interest rates across the sector.”
UBA which has roots in West Africa began operations in Uganda in 2008 and currently operates 8 branches across the country.
The banks Managing Director Johnson Agoreyo said, “As a fully positioned pan-African bank, the UBA Group is firmly in the forefront of driving the renaissance of the African economy and is well positioned as a one-stop financial services institution, with a growing reputation as the face of cross-border banking on the continent. The opening of this new headquarters which is right in the city center means we are centralizing and bringing our services closer to the customer. We are fully committed to this market.”
He explained that over the years, the bank has been able to demonstrate remarkable resilience in the Ugandan market through its continuous leadership in key areas such as technology, innovation and customer service.
“We have interrogated ourselves, our processes and the evolving internal and external environments. We have challenged who we are, what we want to be known for and how we want to do business. We continue to deploy customer focused IT systems, we have re-engineered our processes to specifically meet and exceed customer expectations and we continue to create a workforce of dedicated, engaged productive people,” he added.
Nyambura is a senior journalist based in Kampala