Finance Minister hails FDH Bank Plc for opening first ever Service Centre on Likoma Island

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Chithyola Banda (right) gestures after officially opening the FDH Likoma Service Centre

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola Banda has hailed FDH Bank for establishing a banking centre on Likoma Island.

FDH Bank Plc has become the first bank to open a fully-fledged service centre on Likoma Island, a district that has always faced financial accessibility challenges.

“There will be local economic development as the Bank will support the growth of small businesses by enabling entrepreneurs to establish and expand their enterprises,” said the Finance Minister during the colourful opening ceremony on Monday.

In his remarks, FDH Board Chairperson Charity Mseka said financial inclusion is recognized as a main pillar of the global development agenda, as such opening the service centre is an important milestone for the Bank and the people of Likoma.

“Worldwide, 2.5 billion adults still lack access to basic financial services. Closing this gap is vital to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”

“The World Bank Group has set a target for Universal Financial Access (UFA) that ensures that adults everywhere have access to a transaction account to store money, and send and receive payments,” said Mseka.

The Bank’s Managing Director Noel Mkulichi added that the decision to open a Service Centre on the Island is informed by FDH Bank’s new strategy and plans that aim to provide easy access to financial solutions that enable communities to grow.

“This FDH Bank Plc Service Centre aims to break financial barriers for the people of Likoma. It was initially shocking to hear of the financial accessibility challenges that the people at Likoma face.”

CSR work- Mseka (left) presents a K2 million dummy Cheque for Likoma Secondary School

“Civil servants had to contribute transport and accommodation for one person to travel to Nkhata Bay with ATM cards of the entire group to withdraw money. This was a huge risk and an inconvenience,” said Mkulichi. 

He further noted that the absence of the banking facilities on the Island resulted in the closure of offices and businesses for some days as people had to travel to the mainland, which led to the loss of productive time. 

“Tourists sometimes cut short their stay on this beautiful Island once they run out of money, and this is a lost opportunity for the country. These stories and many more are depressing! This is what the people of Likoma have been going through since time immemorial,” added Mkulichi.

The opening of Likoma Service Centre means FDH Bank is available in all the districts in the country. 

During the function, the Bank  donated  K3 millionto Likoma District Hospital towards procurement of linen for the women’s ward, and K2 millionto Likoma Secondary School towards procurement of mattresses for students as part of their corporate social responsibility. 

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