HARARE, May 18 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s state run pension fund, National Social Security Authority (NSSA), on Wednesday launched its wholly owned building society which it says could help reduce the country’s housing shortage.
The new mortgage lender, National Building Society (NBS), with interest rates pegged at 9,5 percent will add competition in a market dominated by three other housing funders CABS, FBC Building Society and ZB Building Society.
FBC building society charges average 15 percent while ZB Holdings has several facilities with interest rates ranging between 15 percent and 18 percent.
NBS managing director Ken Chitando said apart from providing affordable banking services, the institution would take advantage of NSSA’s dormant land banks across the country and provide low cost housing.
Zimbabwe is estimated to have a housing backlog of up to 1,25 million and government has set a target to build more than 300,000 houses by 2018.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangangwa, who was present at the launch, urged the NBS board to uphold good corporate governance.
“We are coming from a history of bank failures that have been spurred by reckless lending and abuse of depositor’s funds by executives and directors. You must look after our hard earned cash,” he told the management.
A second branch is set to be opened in Bulawayo later this month with the bank expected to leverage on NSSA’s wide network across the country.