The government agency for insuring customers’ deposits in financial institutions, the Deposit Protection Fund of Uganda (DPF), has embarked on courtesy and working visits to contributing members, starting with April.
The chief executive officer of DPF, Julia Clare Olima Oyet recently paid courtesy visits to three financial institutions; Pride Microfinance Ltd, Absa bank and Finance Trust bank. Being accompanied by Balaam Ssempala, the head of Information Technology at the DPF, she discussed with the respective executives the value of building and strengthening partnerships, matters regarding customer information update and automation of the IT payout system, among others.
The institutions appreciated the visits and pledged to do the needful to achieve a quick testing and rollout of the IT payout system, among other enabling obligations. It was pointed out that dormant accounts pose a big challenge to coming up with an updated customer information record.
The law requires the regulated financial institutions to regularly avail updated client accounts details. This will enable the DPF to pay protected deposits in the unlikely event of closure and liquidation of a contributing institution.
The agency’s Annual Report dated June 2020 mentions that in December 2019 and January 2020, the DPF conducted a series of sensitization meetings targeting staff of both the contributing institutions and Bank of Uganda regional currency branches.
The Fund also visited the regional currency branches at Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mbale, Lira, Gulu and Arua.
The meetings aimed at engaging and sharing public awareness materials with contributing institutions at regional level and with Bank of Uganda staff. Through the meetings, the participants obtained knowledge on the mandate and other activities of the DPF.
ANNUAL REPORT 2020
During the recent visits, the DPF and host institutions also discussed issues captured in the DPF Annual Report 2020.
The DPF Annual Report 2020 states that the number of bank accounts – savings, current and fixed deposit – in the country has grown to 17 million as at June 30, 2020, a 20.3 per cent growth across the reporting financial year. This built on continual growth trajectory: six million accounts as June 30, 2016, to 9.3 million accounts in June 2017, to 11.9 accounts in 2018, and 13.8 million accounts in June 2019.
According to the report, the growth in the numbers of accounts led to a 25 per cent growth in deposits of commercial banks from Shs 21 billion to 26.3 billion in one year. This was attributed to the reduction in withdrawals as occasioned by slowed economic activity due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown.
The deposits of customers of deposit- taking institutions regulated by Bank of Uganda and registered with DPF as contributing institutions are protected up to Shs 10 million in the unlikely event of closing a financial institution.
This figure was raised during the reporting year, from Shs 3 million. Good enough, this new figure of Shs 10m shields 98 per cent of customer accounts.
The report further mentions some aspects of the Fund’s sensitization and corporate social responsibility in the year 2019/20. It participated in the World Savings day activities (October 28 to 31, 2019) whereby it interacted and engaged with numerous stakeholders, in addition to sharing public awareness materials on its mandate.
The DPF also conducted a media outreach campaign targeting all stakeholders, using television, radio and print media channels on the Single Customer View project (SCV).
The project aimed at informing customers of all commercial banks, credit institutions and microfinance deposit-taking institutions regulated by BoU to update their personal information with their respective financial institutions and provide an alternative mode of payment in case there is need for a payout.
The DPF responded to the national call to support the fight against the coronavirus disease. So, jointly with the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA), they contributed Shs 440 million.
Shs 240m of this was to be used to procure personal protective equipment for frontline health workers and the remainder Shs 200m as support to Makerere University College of Health Sciences in the development of rapid test kits for Covid-19.