For Rwanda to achieve its economic development objectives, bankers need to think like customers and develop products that will attract savings to grow their deposits, David Cracknel, a UK-based finance expert on microfinance and banking, has said. This will, not only enhance their rate of returns, but also drive the country’s economic development, he added.
Cracknel was addressing bankers during celebrations to mark World Savings Day in Kigali last week.
“You must understand the interrelationship between deposit-taking and customer needs.
“This, however, will require you to constantly strengthen customer service, develop the capacity of your staff and institute strong performance systems,” Cracknel told bankers.
There is need to create an effective market brand that will attract more customers hence increase deposits, he added.
Laure Beaufils, the head of the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) Rwanda, said a strong savings culture will make Rwanda’s goal to become self-reliant a reality.
“Savings help in the realisation of both household and national economic objectives; people need to understand that there are many competing demands from the money they earn which makes saving very critical for our economic sustainability,” Beaufils noted.
People should not only be told to save, but to save for a productive purpose, Jean Bosco Iyacu, the Access to Finance Rwanda technical director, noted.
“The message about savings should be taken at grassroots… our people should be made to understand that it requires self-discipline and a lot of sacrifice,” Iyacu noted.