DIAMOND Trust Bank Tanzania (DTBT) has launched its second branch in Zanzibar, promising preferential financial services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Although we welcome the rich to deposit their money with us, DTBT focuses specifically on small entrepreneurs...we are their good and safe partner,” DTBTanzania Country Manager and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Viju Cherian said prior to the inauguration of the Kijangwani area office.
He described the entry of the second branch as a reaffirmation of the bank’s commitment to expand its outreach and move closer to unbanked Tanzanians.
Mr Cherian said the Dar es Salaam-headquartered bank has during its 11 years of operations in the islands, played a huge role in Zanzibar’s economic growth through extension of credit facilities to SMEs in trade and hospitality industries in particular.
The bank that boasts of 28- branch network in Tanzania has disbursed over 100bn/- in credits to businesses in the isles since it opened its first branch in Stone Town in 2009.
The CEO appreciated the creditworthy of Zanzibaris, saying their loan repayment was the motivating factor behind the opening of the new branch, “We have so far registered a record loan repayment success in Zanzibar, the default rate here is zero.”
Officiating over the launch, Finance and Planning Minister Ambassador Mohamed Ramia Abdiwawa challenged all financial institutions to widen their services and operate in harmony to survive the competitive industry.
“The banking sector in Zanzibar is growing fast and competitively as the national economy grows...you have to think of widening your services to the peripherals because Zanzibar is expanding fast,” said Ambassador Ramia, challenging banks to harness friendly and snub hatred competition.
He commended the bank’s focus on SMEs, describing the segment as the country’s economic driver with huge potential of job creation for Zanzibaris and revenue generation for the government.
“We need to succeed in financial inclusion for every citizen,” said Minister Ramia, challenging all islanders, especially SMEs to make full use of DTB services.
DTB Tanzania is part of Diamond Trust Bank group, a pan East African Bank with over 130 branches across Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi.
The group is an affiliate of Aga Khan Development Network’s economic development arm—Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).