Rwanda : Unguka bank seeks commercial bank status

Officials of a local Rwandan bank, Unguka Microfinance Institution, have said that they are now envisioning becoming a fully fledged commercial bank so as to compete effectively in the economy.

The chairman board of directors of Unguka bank, Joseph Zirimwabagabo, said that the bank targets to become a fully fledged commercial bank by 2015 since it has now received fully certification as a microfinance bank from the central bank of Rwanda.

The bank recently acquired a license to operate as a microfinance bank, after superseding the required minimum capital investment of Rwf100 million to be allowed to conduct business.

The central bank upgraded Unguka to a microfinance bank status last month after it surpassed the requirement with Rwf1.5 billion minimum as its investment capital to set up a microfinance bank.

Zirimwabagabo stated that Unguka bank is now in a position to deploy a wider range of product offerings, which will allow the bank to expand to rural areas- where there is a major clientele for the bank’s growth and expansion strategy.

Unguka Bank Limited was created as a local initiative in 2005 after its 214 shareholders agreed to raise the initial capital of Rwf321.1 million, but currently has an outstanding portfolio of Rwf2.8 billion.
According to Zirimwabagabo, the bank plans for the next four to five years, to open up four additional braches every year as well as additional service counters.

The bank now operates eight branches and six satellite offices covering part of the northern and western provinces as well as Kigali.

The Vice Governor National Bank of Rwanda, Monique Nsazabaganwa presided over the event to celebrate the bank’s achievements and its new status acquired from the central bank.

She said that Unguka’s request for a license to become a bank was passed immediately because the institution had exhibited high standards and fulfilled all the necessary requirements and showed a steady growth with an outstanding portfolio and increasing number of clients.



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