East African financial exhibition attracts 27 institutions
About 14 percent of Rwandans have access to formal banking, according to Francois Kanimba, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR).
Citing a research study conducted by FinScope Rwanda and Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR), Kanimba said that 26 percent access other informal financial services while 48 percent are excluded from financial services.
He said this during the official opening of the four-day, East African Financial Exhibition at Expo grounds in Gikondo on Tuesday.
Alluding to the statistics Kanimba said that, “this simply indicates that our banking and financial institutions need to double their effort in bringing services closer to people.”
Kanimba also disclosed that despite improvements in the operations of financial institutions there is still a gap in service provisions to Rwandans.
“Besides the challenge of access, the financial institutions have not fully diversified their products and services and the volume of credit to the key sectors of the economy like agro-business,” he said.
He also said, “people are frustrated with poor quality customer care service in the Rwandan financial institutions.
The exhibition that is the first of its kind in East Africa brings together 27 financial institutions from the region to showcase financial services.
Kanimba said that the poor service provision has a negative impact on the relationship between the financial institutions and their clients.
He also disclosed that on a three weeks travel around the country to check on the progress of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), Kanimba found out that the people were more drawn to the credit program.
He said that it indicated that, “there had been inconsistent and inadequate communication between the banks and the public.”
SACCOS is a government initiative to get finance closer to the people. Kanimba called on financial institutions to be more creative by coming up with more products and services.
He advised that the exhibition, “was not only an opportunity to showcase their varied products and services and attract more clients but also an opportunity to remedy their poor performances through sharing experiences with neighboring, experienced sister institutions.”
However, he also added that the branch network of financial institutions had increased thus raising deposit accounts from 751, 142 in 2007 to 1.1 million this year.