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MBABANE – The Eswatini economy may be shaky right now but that has not stopped certain entities from entering the banking sector.

The Central Bank of Eswatini has issued a banking licence to a new bank called the Farmers Bank Pty Ltd. According to official correspondence that has been seen by the Business desk, the licence allows Farmers Bank to conduct banking business in the Kingdom of Eswatini as a commercial bank. “Pursuant to the dictates of section 7 of the Financial Institutions Act of 2005, the licensing of this new bank has been published in the government gazette through legal notice number 180 of 2018,” reads the letter of approval issued by CBE in part.

CBE Governor Majozi Sithole yesterday confirmed that the licence had been issued by the regulator of the banking industry in the kingdom. He said after thorough interrogation and determination of the incoming bank and its directors, CBE had approved that Farmers Bank be allowed to operate in the country. “Due diligence has been done and we are confident that the bank will improve access to credit in the Kingdom of Eswatini,” said Sithole. The governor mentioned that as a bank, they continue to be strongly of the view that the Eswatini economy has room to absorb more banks.


Farmers Bank Chairman of the Board of Directors Christo Wiese, who boasts of over 20 years in the banking industry, confirmed receipt of the approval that has been issued by CBE. He said plans were underway to start operating in the country in October or early November at the latest. Wiese said their main focus would be water and food security. Outlining what had prompted them to consider investing in the country, he explained that after a strong analysis of the economy, they had uncovered that there was an opportunity to empower emaSwati by reducing the volume of imports which account for about 70 per cent of locally consumed food produce.

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