dfcu Bank, in partnership with NTV Uganda and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) have today launched a nationwide campaign targeted at driving a savings and investment culture in Uganda. The campaign, which will run – in part as a TV show competition dubbed ‘Battle for Cash’ was launched at the Kampala Serena Hotel with the media fraternity having the first hands-on experience.
Compared to the countries in the region, Uganda has the lowest savings to GDP ratio, which is at 13.48 per cent of GDP with majority of the population being un-banked. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, only 12% of the population have bank accounts while research shows that Ugandans save less than 5% of their monthly earnings as compared to other East African countries (Kenya 23%; Tanzania 13% Rwanda 18%).
The low savings rates are largely a result of traditional banking remaining out of reach for most due to factors like; inadequate financial services; financial illiteracy; physical distance from banking institutions and high minimum deposit and balance requirements, limiting access to banking services. But banks have taken huge strides in addressing these shortcomings by recognizing the potential and are introducing resourceful methods of bringing them back into the formal economy by introducing several innovative products and services.
As part of several efforts to promote a savings culture in Uganda, dfcu Bank introduced the Investment Clubs program in 2007 providing a conducive platform to foster group savings. The dfcu Bank program has since grown with over 10,000 Investment Clubs that cut across all segments including students, the professionals, women, youths holding a savings turnover of over UGX 400 billion.
It is against this background that dfcu Bank has collaborated with NTV and PwC to start a competition to encourage its customers to grow their savings portfolio. The ‘Battle for Cash,’ challenge will provide a free platform to Investment Clubs to show case their success stories over a period of six (6) months. Additionally clubs who are able to present innovative investment ideas and demonstrate the ability to consistently pool savings towards the realization of their objective for a minimum period of six months will be eligible to enter the competition. They will have the opportunity to show case their ideas and investment projects on NTV Uganda.
According to the dfcu Bank Executive Director and Chief of Business William Sekabembe, two special categories of women and youth have been included. Clubs with 100% composition of these special groups will apply to enter the competition and into a special category for Women Clubs & Youth increasing their chances of winning. “We are putting a lot of emphasis on these two categories because we believe they play a major role in the development of communities and Uganda as a whole,” he added.
An amount totaling up to UGX 100 million in prize money has been set aside for the best Investment Clubs. Additionally, one delegate from each of the 20 selected clubs that will enter the competition will be sponsored to attend a study tour in Nairobi to share experiences, network, and widen their knowledge and contacts. This as the top seven (7) clubs will receive free advisory services for a period of one (1) year.