Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday asked government to request commercial banks to open points of representation at major fast-growing trading centres.
The MPs said the arrangement would also allow civil servants and businesspersons in the said areas to have access to banking facilities.
Dedza North-West MP Alekeni Menyani (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) asked Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe to negotiate with wholly State-owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) to open an agency at Kabwazi Trading Centre.
In his question, Menyani said Kabwazi is a fast-growing trading centre in Dedza North-West and such an agency would spare civil servants and businesspersons the risk of travelling long distances with huge sums of money.
Dowa West MP Kusamba Dzonzi (MCP) also asked the minister to negotiate with banks to open agencies at Nambuma Trading Centre, saying it is also a vibrant and economically stable trading centre but has no bank.
He said: “I wish to know as to what steps to follow to ensure that the trading centre has either Opportunity Bank of Malawi [OBM] or Malawi Savings Bank?”
On her part, Mzimba Luwelezi MP Alice Ngoma (Independent) also asked the minister to facilitate that National Bank of Malawi (NBM) or Standard Bank should open a branch at Jenda Trading Centre since it will soon be a town.
In his response, Gondwe said government has taken note of the questions and has had discussions with MSVB and other banks to look into the matter.
He said: “We [government] have encouraged them [banks] to consider Kabwazi and other areas for the establishment of branches.”