Banco de Moçambique authorized opening of 401 bank branches in last three years

1 February 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 1 Feb – The Banco de Moçambique has authorized the opening of 401 bank branches in 51 of Mozambique’s 128 districts since 2007 as part of its effort to expand banking coverage, the head of the central bank has stated.

Ernesto Gove made his comments at the 35th Advisory Council meeting of the Banco de Moçambique, which ended on Friday in Maputo. The bank coverage rate in the 51 districts corresponds to 40 percent, he said.

In the 2007-2009 three-year period “we authorized five new banks to operate, of which two are operational, 57 new microcredit operators, nine savings and loan organizations and three microbanks,” Gove said.

He highlighted the increase in the number of automatic teller machines (ATMs), which rose from 143 to 158 in the last three years, and an increase of 1,435 POS (electronic payment systems in businesses) stations to a total of 4,653.

Despite this trend, the Mozambican capital Maputo still concentrates a large portion of the country’s financial institutions: 135 counters out of a total of 352 operating nationwide, or 38 percent.

“The same situation is verified for ATM and POS stations, with Maputo accounting for 50 percent and 71 percent, respectively,” Mozambique’s central bank governor stated.

Gove lamented “disproportions” in bank openings, given that the cities of Maputo (south of the country), Beira (centre) and Nampula (north) together counted 197 counters, concentrating 56 percent of the total.

Beginning last Wednesday, the Banco de Moçambique debated during its 34th Advisory Council meeting the role of infrastructures in economic development and the establishment of financial services, as well as bank coverage in the economy and the extension of financial services to rural areas. (macauhub)