06 April 2023: The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Brenda Tambatamba MP, officially opened the Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank Limited’s (ZICB) new Head Office and Longacres branch at Longacres Mall in Lusaka.
Hon. Tambatamba, who was representing the Minister of Finance Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane MP, expressed her delight to see a young locally owned bank that is growing rapidly with only four years of operation, stretch its branch operations across the capital city of Zambia.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Tambatamba stated that the launch of the new Head Office and Longacres Branch holds a lot of promise for Zambian entrepreneurs and the local business community. The Minister said that the government has heard and is aware of the challenges that local entrepreneurs face in accessing financing that is structured for the primary purpose of stimulating the growth of SMEs and local businesses. Hon. Tambatamba noted that according to the World Bank’s 2019 Enterprise Survey, the number one barrier to growth for firms in Zambia is access to finance with 31 percent of firms listing it as the most common barrier. The Minister of Labour and Social Security further commended ZICB’s shareholders for supporting the government’s agenda of empowering local SMEs and Corporate Businesses. “I, therefore, take this opportunity to commend the shareholders of ZICB for actualizing their noble idea of forming a bank that would spearhead the commercialization and industrialization of Zambian businesses through the provision of business-friendly financial solutions,” she said.
Hon. Tambatamba further called ZICB the “People’s Bank” because the majority shareholders are government entities namely: the Nation Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Worker’s Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB).
“With that said, we can look to the future with great hope and belief that Zambian business houses and entrepreneurs have a bank they can definitively call their home,” she explained.
Meanwhile, ZICB’s Board Chairman Musonda Cheta reaffirmed ZICB’s commitment towards playing a pivotal role in the commercialisation and industrialisation of Zambian businesses.
“We are convinced that through our contribution, Zambia will realise a future where an increasing number of goods and services consumed in this country will be locally made and locally produced, “he explained.
Mr Cheta said ZICB has started on a path to be the leading bank in providing Zambia’s productive sector with affordable credit and financial solutions by offering innovative products and services that are enabling access to effective financing for its clients. The ZICB Board Chairman further commended the government under the UPND administration, through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, for creating an enabling environment for the growth of local businesses. “As ZICB, our business strategy is a response to the voice of Government that has been calling for more deliberate policies from financial sector players in supporting local entrepreneurs and corporate businesses,” Mr Cheta explained. And speaking at the same event, ZICB Chief Executive Office (CEO) Mr Ignatius Mwanza said the Bank decided to move its Head Office from Central Business Park to Longacres Mall due to its rapid growth.
“ZICB found a need to move its Head Office to a place that is more accommodating, easily accessible and with better facilities for our customers,” Mr Mwanza explained.
The ZICB CEO further disclosed that the Bank has received phenomenal demand for its services from customers and other stakeholders since it started operating and has made tremendous progress in launching its full core banking services.
The Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank now operates three branches in Lusaka situated at Longacres Mall, Central Business Park and Lusaka Business Centre.