STANDARD Chartered Bank Zambia has announced that its Mongu, Kasama, Luanshya and Chililabombwe branches will close, with effect from January 1st, 2020.
The Crossroads branch in Lusaka will merge with Kabulonga branch.
At a media briefing on November 10, the Socialist Party said Zambia’s economy was still in great danger and that the livelihoods of millions of citizens were at stake.
On the banking sector, Socialist Party president Dr Fred M’membe said there would be contracted or reduced activity.
“In other words, banks will have to drastically reduce lending. And we know that a big portion of personal loans in Zambia is to government and quasi-government workers,” Dr M’membe noted.
“As banks are already viewing this as risky for those with existing loans, this means that interest rates will remain above 30 per cent and possibly even escalate to above 40 per cent as was the case in 2016.”
He added that banks were there to maximise profits that, in turn, meant that many jobs would be lost in the banking sector before the end of this year and in 2020.
“There’s also the added risk of some banks failing to survive,” said Dr M’membe.
“Politicians and other leaders should become aware of this and see the problem clearly.”
Standard Chartered Bank Zambia is circulating a client notice announcing the imminent closure of the named branches.
The signatory of the client notice is DeepPal Singh, the head of retail banking, Zambia and Southern Africa at Standard Chartered Bank Zambia.
“Dear valued client, at Standard Chartered, we are with you for the long run. Standard Chartered Bank continues to deliver value to you, our esteemed clients, an efficient branch network that enables you to seamlessly conduct your day-to-day business with us,” read the client notice.
“The bank wishes to inform its clients and members of the general public of the following changes to our branch network. 1 Mongu branch will close, 2. Kasama branch will close, 3. Chililabombwe branch will close, 4. Luanshya branch will close, 5. Crossroads branch will merge with Kabulonga branch. These changes take effect from 1 January, 2020.”
The bank further advised its clients that its online self-service platforms remained available for their ease of banking.
“With over 113 years’ history in Zambia, the bank remains committed to the growth of this market, to our clients and staff,” read the notice.
“We apologise for any inconvenience the changes may cause. Please call 5247 for more details.”