BRUSSELS, 12 October 2015 – The WSBI Member in Zimbabwe, People's Own Savings Bank (POSB), has recently obtained a licence from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to start a mortgage finance division to tap into growing demand for housing. The mortgage loans period will be up to 10 years at an annual interest rate of 12 per cent, said a senior official who declined to be named for professional reasons. Clients will obtain mortgage loans of not more than 25 per cent of gross salary, the official added.
The financial institution, established more than a decade ago and famously known for its "green books", is 100 percent owned by the Government through the Finance Ministry. The bank has a total of 500 000 depositors geographically spread across the country. "The purpose of the mortgage loans is for both for construction and purchase of existing properties. Modalities to operationalise the division are in progress," said the official.
The bank will use resources from the Communication and Allied Pension Fund, whose contributors are employees of POSB and telecommunication companies, NetOne and TelOne. Efforts to get an official comment from POSB proved fruitless by the time of going to press. Zimbabwe is faced with a huge housing backlog. The housing shortage, estimated at 1.25 million units, translates to a national backlog of five million or 40 per cent of the total population.
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