Members of Zigama Credit and Savings Society (Zigama CSS) will soon start enjoying high interests on their savings after the bank’s board approved new savings deposit rates.
The decision was among the resolutions announced by James Ndahiro, the board chair, during a general assembly at Rwanda Defence Force Headquarters in Kimihurura.
Speaking to journalists after the assembly, Ndahiro said the decision was part of the ongoing efforts to encourage members to save for their future investments, as well as facilitate the growth of the bank.
“One of the resolutions from today’s general assembly is to be strategic and devise more ways of continuing to promote savings in order to facilitate the growth of the bank. It is in this sense that we decided to increase deposit rates to help our members enjoy their savings,” he said.
Currently, members of Zigama CSS have various savings options, including voluntary savings and compulsory saving schemes.
With voluntary savings, people save for their investments and other future needs and earn a 6 per cent interest per annum.
With compulsory savings, people save for long term plans to secure their future and families. The bank deducts a certain amount of money from member salaries or allowances on a monthly basis for direct savings.
Members gain 7 per cent interest per annum on the deducted savings. The savings serve as a basic guarantee when members wish to apply for a loan or other credit services.
Ndahiro said, starting next financial year, clients will begin enjoying an attractive 7 per cent interest on voluntary savings and 8 per cent interest per annum on compulsory savings.
He said this will encourage more members to save and contribute to the stability of the bank in the long run.
According to figures, Zigama CSS has over 80,000 members, growing from 70,000 in two years.
The bank is growing
The bank has been growing over the years with significant positive changes all aimed at financially helping its customers, who are among the lowest income-earners in the country.
In 2015, the cooperative bank cut down the interest rate from 15 to 13 per cent, to boost lending among members of CSS and their spouses and encourage setting up and expansion of income-generating activities.
Last year, the bank introduced the ‘solidarity fund’ to help repay loans left by deceased members and the 2016 financial report indicated that the bank recorded an Rwf6.8 billion net profit.
The Chairman said that they project to have over Rwf8 billion net profit at the close of this financial year.
As of September 30, the bank’s profit after tax was Rwf6.3 billion with total loans worth Rwf140.7 billion.
The customer confidence has also went high indicated by customer deposits worth Rwf168 billion from Rwf161 billion recorded last year.
This year the bank was also awarded among the large tax payers.
Zigama predominantly caters for members of the Rwanda Defence Force, Rwanda Correctional Service and Rwanda National Police, and it received a commercial banking license from the central bank in 2011.