The total deposit made by account holders in Tanzanian commercial banks has been increasing yearly, thanks to initiatives by the government and private sector to make the sector more vibrant and lure more people to open accounts.
According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Tanzanian residents’ deposits with commercial banks have increased by almost 100 percent over the past four years.
The bank said in a statement released recently that over the period, Tanzanians’ deposits with commercial banks have grown from USD1.6bn to USD2.3bn.
Tanzania has almost 45 banks and financial institutions in the country, most of them are in urban areas.
A Finscope Tanzania 2009 survey conducted by the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) shows that only 11 per cent of Tanzanians (4.7 million) have bank accounts.
However, financial institutions have been striving through mobile banking to attract more people to use their services.
According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) about 55 per cent of Tanzanians (23.97 million) voice subscriptions have access to mobile phones.
Statistics shows that 10 banks have started partnering with telecoms offering mobile banks by integrating mobile banking systems with banking platforms.
They are CRDB bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), National Microfinance Bank (NMB), Bank of Africa (BOA) Access Bank and Dar es Salaam Community Bank (DCB). Others are Efatha, Azania Bancorp, People’s Bank of Zanzibar (PBZ), Tanzania Postal Bank and Citibank.
Meanwhile, BoT said gross official international reserves position have grown over time, increasing from USD2.7bn in February 2008, to USD3.6bn in January this year, which is approximately 4 months of import cover.
“The most current position, April 2012 remains almost the same. These reserves are held as an assurance in case our export earnings and net inflows are not sufficient to cover our import requirements,” the bank said.
It is also worthwhile to note that, gross foreign reserves of commercial banks have increased from only USD780.1m in February 2008 to USD1.02bn in January 2012, implying that gross foreign reserves of the banking system in Tanzania have grown from USD3.5bn in February 2008 to about USD4.6bn in January 2012.
The bank pledged to take measures to ensure that reserves position is healthy, in line with monetary policy objectives and the need to preserve a good balance of payments position, the report said.