On 29th March 2018, the Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) and the Zambia Institute of Banking & Financial Services (ZIBFS) successfully held a Hand-Over Ceremony at which the FSDZ handed over the Executive Diploma SME Relationship Management programme to the Institute to become part of the Institute's full programmes. This follows a successful collaboration since 2015 during which the FSDZ developed and offered the training in collaboration with the ZIBFS.
In 2015, the ZIBFS entered into a joint arrangement with FSDZ for the provision of the Executive Diploma in SME Relationship Management. It gives the Institute great pleasure to mention that over 100 financial sector professionals have been trained to date, and the feedback from both the students and the employers has been overwhelmingly positive.
In this regard, the handover of the SME Diploma programme is very significant to both the ZIBFS and the FSDZ, because it signifies a very successful collaboration between the two institutions, and one which will be a stepping stone for many other similar projects going forward. The successful handover also signifies the hard work of both the FSDZ and the ZIBFS in ensuring that this important Executive Diploma in SME Relationship Management is embedded into Institute programmes for the benefit of the financial sector. The Institute is grateful to the FSDZ for being one of the pioneers of financial inclusion through the provision of high quality information sharing platforms, and the executive diploma in SME Relationship Management is one important programme for our financial sector professionals to undertake. Further, the Institute has continued to conduct training in various industry relevant subjects, including credit management, retail banking, risk management, professional banking & financial services, to mention but a few. The content of these programmes is tailor-made to equip graduates and impart them with relevant financial knowledge. The ZIBFS is committed to continuing professional development.
It is worth noting that the business of banking has evolved over the years and it now focuses more on managing relationships rather than just managng transactions. Therefore, in the midst of growing competition in the financial sector, the survival of every financial service provider should lie in its effective customer relationship management which will inform its decisions on the design of customer-centric innovative financial products and services. SMEs have an important role in the development of an economic of a country (both developing and developed countries). They bring a lot of benefits like employment generation, exports, foreign exchange, investment, income and wealth distribution. It is therefore obvious that banking and financial services are important to small and medium-sized enterprises because they provide financing for businesses to start, sustain, or expand.
In this regard, the financial sector in Zambia and world over needs more customer-centric and SME-focused financial products that are designed to help SMEs start and thrive. Without banks and financial services providers, the business community will be totally dominated only by those who have the capital. This is definitely something modern societies cannot allow. Moreover, banks and financial services providers are important to SMEs to facilitate financial transactions because not everyone uses cash to pay for transactions. Some use cheques while others use online payment systems. There are also those that pay through credit cards and special setups for transferring funds. These cannot be possible without banks and financial services providers.
The Institute therefore implores all financial services professionals to enroll on the Executive Diploma in SME Relationship Management to further sharpen their customer relationship management skills at all levels, for the benefit of their respective institutions and the financial sector in general.
Zambia Institute of Banking & Financial Services.
P.O.Box 35571, Lusaka.
248A Namambozi Road, Fairview Lusaka.
Telephone 211 237281.
Fax 211 237282.
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