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Bankers closely monitor Covid-19 impact

TANZANIA Bankers Association (TBA) has said it is keen to maintain close engagements with the central bank to check the adverse impacts of coronavirus in the financial sector.

The umbrella body for bankers, according to the statement, had already set in motion internal mechanisms to help its members rollout out changes in line with the announced measures.

The TBA Chair, Abdulmajid Nsekela said the association is closely working with the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to ensure its members remain appraised on the policy changes during this unprecedented period.

“As bankers in Tanzania, we are committed to supporting efforts by the government and other stakeholders towards checking the adverse impact of Covid-19,” he said. 

TBA Bank of Tanzania’s measures to cushion economy are timely and will ease pressure on the economy from challenge of the novel coronavirus.

He said in a statement over the weekend that he welcomed the BoT decision which will go a long way in easing the pressure on the economy, resulting from the constraints brought about by the global challenge of the Covid-19.

“BOT has not only been proactive in engaging players in the sector on pertinent matters but also demonstrated proactive leadership in implementing policy interventions that are aimed at stimulating the economy, protecting livelihoods and ensuring continuous growth of the banking sector,” Nsekela said in the statement.

The chair acknowledges that measures will safeguard the stability of the financial sector, and more importantly, create a supportive environment for growth.

“As industry players, we appreciate this effort and commit to continue engaging with one another on how to best protect the economy, our customers and businesses in the light of the prevailing challenges,” he added.

The central bank, mid last week, lowered discount rate from 7.0 percent to 5.0 percent aiming at increasing liquidity space in financial sector. The last time BoT lowered the rate was almost two years ago. Also BoT lowered Statutory Minimum Reserves (SMR) from 7.0 percent to 6.0 percent which will create liquidity in the economy.

“This means that banks will have the ability to continue lending to customers despite the economic slowdown,” TBA Chair said.

BoT also reduced the value of collaterals used against government securities, mainly Treasury bills and bonds from 10 percent to 5.0 percent and 40 percent to 20 percent respectively.

“This measure will enhance the ability of banks to borrow from the central bank with less collateral hence provide cheaper loans,” TBA statement said.

Also, BoT approved of loan restructuring, subject to thorough assessments by individual banks, to accommodate borrowers who are adversely affected by the pandemic.

“This will cushion customers directly affected by the pandemic and also reduce the risks of non-performing loans,” TBA said.

The central bank increased mobile money transaction daily limits from 3.0m/-to 5.0m/-and, the daily balance from 5.0m/-to 10m/-.

“This measure will go a long way in accelerating adoption of digital payments while at the same time reducing risks associated with cash transactions,” Mr Nsekela said.

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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