Housing Finance Bank (HFB) has launched its third upcountry branch in Arua, 46 years after it was established.
Housing Finance Bank joins other banks such as Kenya Commercial bank, Centenary Rural Development Bank, Stanbic bank, which have a presence in the town.
Other banks that are established in Arua include; Diamond Trust Bank, Bank of Africa, Barclays Bank, Post Bank and dfcu Bank. As Arua steadily turns into the region’s banking and financial hub, its strategic location on the fringes of the largely untapped business potential of Eastern DR Congo and South Sudan is believed to be the driving factor.
But HFB officials maintained that their objective is to serve the indigenous population. “We did our studies and from our analysis, we know that we are coming to serve you,” Nicholas Okwir, the bank’s Managing Director said.
With a 16% interest rate for housing, the emergence of HFB onto the banking scene, officials say, will increase mortgage financing to boost housing construction in and around the town and beyond. Speaking at the same event, Fred Omach, the State Minister for Finance (General Duties), said the opening of upcountry branches will take banking services closer to the needy people.
He said that the growing number of financial institutions in Arua was an indication of peace and security in the area. Other financial institutions which are operational in the town include, Pride Microfinance, Finca Uganda and a number of Foreign Exchange Bureaus.
Omach asked HFB officials to desist from dealing through intermediary financial service providers saying it can lead to money laundering and cheating of clients. He advised the bank to not only serve existing mortgage owners but also offer commercial services to small and medium enterprises.