ZB targets informal sector

HARARE - ZB Bank Limited (ZB) has unveiled a $1 million loan facility targeted at boosting the informal sector’s capacity.

The “Informal Trader” scheme comes on the back of the institution’s recent introduction of a savings account tailor made for the thriving sector.

“Through the informal trader savings account, it was established that traders have a need for some short-term bridging finance that allows them to stock their products which in most cases are fast moving,” the bank’s acting managing director Shadowsight Chiganze said yesterday.

He said the introduction of the “Informal Trader” facility helped in formalising financial transactions of the informal sector.

Chiganze added that the shift in focus from traditional lending limited to large corporates and small to medium enterprises followed extensive research and wide consultations with relevant stakeholders and interest groups.

Under the facility, short-term loans have a payback period of seven working days with a maximum of $500 to an individual while the minimum one can access is $100.

There are no interest charges but the loan attracts an administration fee. Interest is only levied upon failure to pay back.

Chiganze said the bank had already signed a memorandum of understanding with Harare Home Industries Association commonly known as Siyaso in Mbare.

“From there we will spread and expand into other areas. The informal sector has already shown considerable interest in our offering judging by the high uptake of the informal trader savings account,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chiganze said that plans to streamline operations as part of strategies to contain costs and consolidate its capital base were on course.

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