Financial sector under fire over tough terms

Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) has revealed in a research study that the situation needs urgent review to enable the financial sector wins a wider  public support.  

ESRF Senior Research Officer, Dr Donatila Kaino said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that only eight per cent of 21 million people surveyed access the services.  “The terms are frustrating Tanzanians thus there is need to review them so as to enhance financial services accessibility,” she said.

She was presenting the research finding which was conducted in 2009 to find out the demand and barriers to access financial services in the country to the Parliamentary Committee of Finance and Economic Affairs.  Dr Kaino said that the study dubbed "Fins-cope Survey 2009" also aimed at establishing credible benchmark for financial access. 

She said the study further revealed that majority of Tanzanians especially those living in rural areas were not even aware of financial services, thus a need for public awareness.  “We surveyed across the country and the findings are disappointing. It is a challenge that needs an immediate solution,” Dr Kaino said, adding that financial institutions are required to address financial gap to both individuals and companies. 

Another researcher from ESRF, Ms Dora Semkwiji appealed to the government and the general public to utilize the findings in their development plans.  Commenting on the findings, a member of Parliamentary Committee, Mr Richard Ndassa said that financial services were scarce in rural areas.

“People have to walk long distance to access financial services. This is a challenge to the financial institutions to spread their wings to remote areas,” he said. "Fin-scope survey 2009" was conducted by ESRF in collaboration with Financial Sector Deepening Trust (TFSD) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).  This is the second study on financial institutions after the previous one conducted in 2006.

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