Hope was oozing in the hearts of Malawians citizens as news was announced that parliament was discussing a bill that would lower and regulate interest rates. The following was what the bill stood for:
(a) Setting up a CEILING of interest rates charged by banks to a maximum of 5% above the Policy Rate i.e. base lending rate set by the Reserve Bank.
(b) Setting up a CEILING of total interest charged to customers by banks to not exceed Capital borrowed.
(c) Setting up a FLOOR of interest paid to depositors to the higher of 2% above ruling inflation rates or 5% below the lending rate.
With loan interest rates reaching up to 30% and scrutiny is maintained to check ability to pay that back, the irony is that an individual has to have more money in order to lend. The concept of lending is that one does not have the resources to begin with.
Business and economy experts have commented that both the proposal and rejection of the bill are just a politics at play; the proposal being timely aimed for the election season, while the rejection being obvious as there are speculated MP’s ties with the banks themselves. Meanwhile startups struggle to grow because of lack of financial resources, while hoping that one day loans will be easily accessible, with fair interest rates.