Burundi Bank of Credit (Banque de Crédit du Burundi, BCB) will build a $12 million headquarter in 2014 to accommodate its increasing customer base, the Manager said in an interview in Bujumbura.

According to the  BCB Manager, Tarcisse Rutumo, “The bank will invest in a modern building with around $12 million to allow our customers to be served”.

The Manager also commented on potential of investing in Africa and the profitability of investing in Burundi’s banking sector.

Burundi Commerce Bank, which celebrates its 90th anniversary, is the biggest bank in the country by asset.

“It is time to encourage African investment in general and Burundi investment in particular in bank sector”, said Rutumo arguing that the bank will eye its regional expansion if the board of Directors approves.

“We did not realize great interests but shareholders got of course their beneficiaries”, the BCB Manager said on Thursday after shareholders general meeting.

BCB would face competition from Bancobu, BGF, BBCI and InterBank Burundi (IBB), as well as other new banks that were awarded licenses.  Also, after the banking sector liberalization by Burundi’s government, other regional banks – Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), EcoBank, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Tanzania’s CRDB Bank – entered Burundi.

“We are not afraid of competitions. We are here to keep in our hands our customers by offering new products to them and easing their tasks” the Manager said.

Among new products, the BCB Manager confirmed that the bank is the first to launch the Visa International card in Burundi – an innovation that will boost business activities.

Investing in Burundi especially in the banking sector is attracting more lenders in the region, Burundi central Bank Governor said last year. The president, Nkurunziza Pierre also urged banks to give loans to customers with small interests.

Today, interest rates on loan in Burundi are negotiable but the official interest rate on loan is 18 percent, according to Central Bank figures.

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