Malawians say village banks will keep their distance from banks amid concerns that the commercial banks want to kill village banks.
Several banks have introduced promotions aimed at coaxing village banks to deposit money to the commercial banks.
One bank is dangling K7 million to be won by a village bank that opens an account and keeps about K300,000 in the account for the period of the promotion. The bank is also promising access to credit facility and business management coaching.
Another bank says village banks will get an interest of 5 percent when accessing loans and will not be deducted any monthly fee or any fee when conducting transactions.
Malawians, however, are worried that banks want to steal from them.
“The bank starts a package for free to attract you customer, after a year or two these accounts will be charged heavily. They use a term called the bank reserves the right to change the terms and start imposing fees on an account that used to be for no any charge at all.
“Village Bank after collection of money, is distributed as loans to members to generate more money,” said one person on National Bank Facebook page.
Other people have warned banks that they are wasting their time because village banks do not save money but rather the money is given out as loans and the treasure only keeps records.
There are concerns that saving money with banks will kill the whole spirit of village banking.
“Do you know why banks are jealous of the village banks ? It is because village banks realized that there is no progress in saving but there’s progress in lending the money.
“In a village bank setting, money circulates and is never saved. They borrow each other with affordable interests and many have built houses and bought plots with this village system. This is an opportunity that our greedy banks cannot let go.
“Please Commercial banks, observe social distance from our village banks and don’t kill the peoples only hope,” said another person.