Malawi Launches Bank for Refugees

New Finance Bank Malawi.

Lilongwe: A local bank is now servicing over 5 000 refugees in Dzaleka Camp in Malawi, a year after the financial institution established the service centre.

New Finance Bank (NFB), one of the country’s commercial banks, opened the branch effectively in 2017 becoming the first financial institution to establish a service centre in the camp since its inception in 1994.

According to statistics provided by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, over 5 000 savings accounts have been opened since then for the refugees,


– 5,214 saving accounts opened, of which 1,000 were opened at City Centre branch before the opening in the camp.

– 147,120 USD (107,083,530 MWK) in Total Deposit balances.

– 100 total loan accounts, with a value of some 43,044 USD (31,330,000 MWK).

– 100% repayment rate so far, according to New Finance Bank.

– 5,500 refugees reached through New Finance Bank’s financial literacy program.

The initiative is driven in partnership between New Finance Bank, Ministry of Homeland Security, and UNHCR Malawi.

For or the past 24 years, people at the camp have been traveling long distances to access banks in Dowa Central Business District(CBD) or capital Lilongwe.