Thomson Mpinganjira: FDH Bank’s Response to COVID-19

As Malawi deals with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, FDH Bank has announced a moratorium for loan customers negatively affected by the pandemic. In May 2020, the leading Malawian financial institution founded by Thomson Mpinganjira announced a three-month suspension of instalment collections.

In a statement released by Dr Ellias Ngalande, Managing Director of FDH Bank, the bank confirmed that it had joined forces with the Malawian Government, the Bankers Association of Malawi and the Reserve Bank of Malawi to ensure that its customers were protected from economic fallout created by the pandemic.

Dr Ngalande confirmed that customers with loan facilities would be granted a three-month moratorium on request. He went on to say that negatively affected borrowers seeking relief through revised loan instalments or loan repayment period extensions should contact their local branch.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FDH Bank has cut digital banking fees by 40% as part of efforts to encourage customers to transact digitally, eliminating the need to visit the bank in person as part of nationwide social distancing measures.

Mr Ngalande explained that the bank is committed to ensuring its customers receive vital financial support, while at the same time protecting their safety. FDH Bank recently ran a digital promotion where customers who utilised its vast digital platforms were entered into a prize draw to win a new car.

COVID-19 Testing at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital

For three years, FDH Bank has supported the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, investing in its Cancer High Dependency Unit. In May 2020, the hospital announced that it is set to start COVID-19 testing for patients who seek medical attention at the hospital in a bid to reduce transmission.

Peter Kafwamba, Administrator of the Cancer High Dependency Unit, said that the screening would enable healthcare professionals to determine how best to handle patients seeking treatment at the cancer unit. He explained that it was vital that personnel used every means necessary to reduce the risk of infection, pointing out that FDH Bank had previously funded refurbishment of the ward in 2017 and had more recently provided materials to facilitate its sterilisation.

Mr Kafwamba said that FDH Bank’s financial support had gone a long way towards easing the challenges of caring for critically ill patients. As well as sponsoring COVID-19 testing and funding hospital renovations, FDH Bank recently procured ventilators, a patient monitor, modern beds and bedding for the unit. The bank also provides MK300,000 in funding each month, paying for full-time nurses to ensure round-the-clock patient care.

Managing Director Ellias Ngalande explained that FDH Bank recognises the needs of Malawians and is committed to supporting them through the implementation of health and education initiatives. He revealed that the bank donated MK7 million in funding for a private sector coalition to procure COVID-19 testing kits. In addition, FDH Bank pledged MK25 million to the Ministerial COVID-19 Committee.

In 2017, FDH Bank went into partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, investing in its Cancer High Dependency Unit, providing MK17 million in funding to refurbish and equip the ward. It is hoped that these interventions will significantly reduce risk to cancer patients receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital by screening patients on entry.

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