AccessBank Tanzania on Thursday joined the country’s microfinance bandwagon to capitalise in an area of its interest—micro and small businesses.
The lender, whose 95 per cent of loan portfolio comes from micro and small business, decided to leave a commercial and join four other financial entities in microfinance banking business.
Others are Finca Microfinance, VisionFund TZ Microfinance, Mwanga- Hakika Microfinance and Yetu Microfinance. Due to these developments AccessBank has now changed it business licence and name to Access Microfinance Bank Tanzania Limited (AMBTL).
“The change reflects our deep focus on the microfinance segment, which already accounts for 95 per cent of our total number of loans disbursed,” AccessBank said.
According to the bank, already the central bank (BoT) approved the transformation since last month and rebranding to Access Microfinance continues.
“Operating at the very same premises, AMBTL will continue to serve the very same stakeholders, and now with even higher energy and focus,” the statement read. AccessBank, whose one of its shareholders is Access Microfinance Holding based in Germany, opened doors in 2007 as commercial bank and has disbursed 236,000 loans.
An economist-cum-investment banker, Dr Hildebrand Shayo, told the ‘Daily News’ that AccessBank’s business nature was focused on microfinance going by its loan book.
“The transformation will enable the bank to cut down its operation costs including meeting and maintaining regulatory requirement issues by the BoT. “The decision will also help the bank to be more efficient in an area where it has most of its interest,” Dr Shayo said.
Two months ago, the central bank, directed all banks and financial institutions to maintain a cost to income ratio (CIR) of less than 55 per cent and get the non-performing loans(NPLs) to the minimum target of less than or equal to 5.0 per cent or risk regulatory sanction coming 2022.
Dr Shayo also said given the dynamics in the economy and shrinking of businesses and management costs, changing and becoming microfinance entity, will help Access to minimise its operational costs.