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Bank moves to offer small short-term loans



MASERU – THE Lesotho Post bank (LPB) will soon unveil a new programme to offer small short-term loans to SMMEs and individuals.
This is part of the bank’s project to ensure Basotho have access to finance and banking services, according to Lesotho Post Bank managing director, Molefi Leqhaoe.

“Our intention with these small loans is to ensure that there is money movement and economic activity hence the loans will only be charged a small fee,” Leqhaoe said.

He said the small loans can even be paid the same day because the bank does not want to charge people but rather make it easier for those not deemed credit-worthy by the banking sector.

Leqhaoe said the bank is currently studying how much a SMME or the informal sector needs to buy stock in order to set a threshold for the loans.
However, the amount of one’s loan will depend on your banking activities.

The small loans are among the many other initiatives by the bank under the #Refetolamaoa initiative that is intended to transform the bank with regards to self-service and access to finance and banking services.

“We are trying to bridge the gap between Basotho and the bank while addressing previously created gaps and challenges,” Leqhaoe said.
He said the LPB wants to take services to the people and explore all possible digital channels to ease access to finance without abandoning traditional services like those provided at the branches, ATMs, and Points of Sale.

The bank will also provide internet banking, mobile banking, merchant and agency banking.
“Internet banking will enable clients to transact and keep track of their account activities wherever they are while mobile banking is aimed at those without access to the internet but have a phone,” he said.

“They will also be able to do all transactions available to internet bankers.”
He said where they do not have branches they will have merchants who will provide banking services to clients in such areas.
“Clients will be able to withdraw at these merchants and if we see that money is a problem we will have ATMs,” Leqhaoe said.

Meanwhile, agents will go out to sell the LPB and get paid a commission thus creating jobs and lessening the current escalating unemployment rates.
The LPB will also introduce master cards and visa cards that will be functional all over the world before the end of the year.

“We are working hard to ensure that we ease access to affordable credit, financial inclusion, literacy and job creation in alignment with our slogan to become accessible, affordable and everywhere,” Leqhaoe said.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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