The effects of financial inclusion on fostering economic growth and wealth creation in Zambia: a case study of the National savings and credit bank (NSCB).

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Kalunga, Bwalya
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The University of Zambia
A number of studies have suggested that access to financial services may allow the poor or otherwise disadvantaged to invest in physical assets and education, reducing income inequality and contributing towards economic growth (Burgess and Others, 2005). These studies have proved that an increased access to various financial services for low income households can undoubtedly allow these low income earners to improve their social and economic well-being which can lead to both economic growth and financial development, (Morgan, 2014). It is as a result of these studies that the research was aimed at focusing on establishing the effects of financial inclusion on fostering economic growth and wealth creation in Zambia with particular reference to the National Savings and Credit Bank (NSCB). The study therefore attempted to establish if at all financial services offered by NSCB to the rural areas of Zambia do have an effect on economic growth and wealth creation in these rural communities of Zambia. The research further aimed at gathering data and analyzing the already existing literature on financial inclusion in and outside Zambia. The NSCB was selected due to its wide branch network of 36 branches spread across all the 10 provinces of Zambia of which 21 are based in the rural communities. The research firstly concluded by establishing that NSCB financial products and services do contribute towards economic growth and wealth creation through its support towards education activities at household level through loans and savings products which are offered in the rural communities it is servicing. Secondly, it was established that NSCB products and services do have an effect at community level as they were focused on supporting economic activities such as agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises which are a major driver towards economic growth and development as highlighted in the literature cited. The study further recommended that an improvement in customer service, financial sensitization or education of rural communities, expansion of remote banking, introduction of tailor-made products, and recapitalization of the bank as well infrastructure development in rural communities can greatly contribute to promoting financial inclusion in Zambia.
Financial services--Economic growth.