Mozambique: Commercial banks urged to lower interest rates
The Bank of Mozambique is concerned that commercial banks have not followed most of its recent cuts in interest rates.The Bank of Mozambique is concerned that commercial banks have not followed most of its recent cuts in interest rates.
While the Bank Standing Lending Facility rate was cut 11 times in the last two years, to the current level of 8.25 percent, commercial banks continue to charge between 20 and 25 percent to their clients and the recent decrease is qualified as "slow" by Waldemar de Sousa , an official of the Bank of Mozambique at a press conference in Maputo .
In the absence of strong regulation, the annual interest rate offered in September remained at an average of 20.45 percent, with only a few customers receiving a slightly more favourable rate of 15.2 per cent on average.
According to Mr de Souza, the only positive is that there has been an increase in the number of borrowers at rates below the level of 15 per cent, from 1.8 per cent in 2011 to 8.4 per cent this year.
He announced that the Central Bank was in the process of developing a strategy aimed at reducing commercial banks’ lending rates. He also indicated that the plan will include measures to control bank fees, such as ATMs’ withdrawal fees, still accounting for 3.5 percent of total withdrawals.