Savings culture: BK takes campaign to rural areas

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Customers open savings accounts at BK stand at Gikondo Expo Grounds yesterday. T. Kisambira.

Bank of Kigali has started a nationwide campaign to promote a savings culture. The campaign is part of Bigereho na BK’ or ‘achieve your dreams with BK’ which was launched last week during the trade fair at the Gikondo expo grounds in Kicukiro district.

The campaign, according to Bank of Kigali’s CEO Dr. Diane Karusisi is an opportunity for Rwandans to become part of the Bank’s five-decade success story, but also to boost the savings culture across the country.

“The idea is to encourage Rwandans be part of the journey where we will continue contributing to the economic transformation of the country through innovative services,” said Karusisi.

The campaign will see participants win prizes worth hundreds of millions including a truck valued at Rwf38m. All one needs is opening a savings account or depositing money on an existing one.

The ‘Bigereho Na BK’ Campaign is a climax to Bank of Kigali’s commercial year, which was launched in January, themed around celebrating the lender’s 50th anniversary, Karusisi said adding that, there is undeniable evidence that Bank of Kigali has played a central role in the country’s economic development over the last two decades, contributing to growth of businesses and the financial transformation of individuals through a variety of services.

“While proud of our successful past, it is time to face today’s challenges with practical solutions; over 70 percent of our adult population is still unbanked in the formal banking system, and our national savings are still low making it hard for banks to lend adequately to support private sector investment,” Karusisi said.

Through the ‘Bigereho na BK’ campaign, Bank of Kigali hopes to address both challenges, first, by deepening financial inclusion through thousands of new bank accounts it hopes to get, and promoting a savings culture, by way of customers depositing money on their accounts and keeping it untouched for the campaign’s duration, to support short-term micro-lending efforts.

“We wanted to give our customers something new and exciting to look forward to in this year’s exhibition hence the reason we decided to activate this campaign in the expo,” said Vincent Gatete, Bank of Kigali Chief Commercial Officer.

He added that the campaign will continue until December, and will be promoted across the country using the bank’s expansive branch network as well as thousands of its agents.

“This is exciting. I am a customer of Bank of Kigali already and I am glad the campaign allows us to deposit on our accounts and win some of the prizes,” said Aline Kaiganwa, a BK Customer.

A major challenge faced by Rwanda’s banking sector is a tendency among clients to open accounts and forget about them, feeding the already fat elephant in the room of dormant accounts causing banks to incur losses in account maintenance related costs.

“During this Bigereho na BK promotion, we are encouraging customers who have dormant accounts with us to come and reactivate them and stand a chance of winning these exciting prizes,” said Gatete.

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