It has been 50 years of growth, development
It started its operations in a boutique in 1967 and 50 years later, Housing Finance Bank is the ninth largest bank in the country. It has an asset base of sh732b as of 2017. Currently, the bank is the leading mortgage lender in the country, with approximately 60% of all Ugandan mortgage accounts.
How it all started
In August 2017, the two largest shareholders in the bank, the Government of Uganda and National Social Security Fund, each contributed $8.2m (to make a total of $16.4m) in fresh capital, to boost the bank's ability to lend to more mortgage borrowers and improve the lender's liquidity.
Housing Finance Bank's journey started on December 7, 1967 as a building society known as First Company of Building Systems. John Okwir, a former managing director of the bank, says the society comprised civil servants of British origin who were working in the colonies in East Africa. Their headquarters were in present-day Zimbabwe and they had branches in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
"However, with the attainment of independence, the employees withdrew, as many of them were leaving. There were, however, some Ugandans who had become members and they still needed the Building Society's services.
So the British and Ugandan governments decided to form a company to continue with the services that the Building Society had been providing prior to independence,"Okwir says.
On December 7, 1967, the Housing Finance Company of Uganda was formed as a private company. It commenced as a finance company providing only two services — savings bank and provision of loans for mortgages. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY
Our legacy is excellence, respect, integrity, customer-centricity
The Housing Finance Bank was founded in 1967 as Housing Finance Company Uganda Limited to carry out business as a non-banking credit institution with a focus on providing mortgage finance for the construction of residential houses and also accepting savings deposits from the public. It later turned into a fully-fledged bank in 2007 Housing Finance Bank is now celebrating 50 years of dedicated service. New Vision's Owen Wagabaza talked to Michael K. Mugabi, the acting managing director of the Bank and below are the excerpts
What do 50 years mean for Housing Finance Bank?
Fifty years of service is a big milestone for us at Housing Finance Bank. It symbolises our unique heritage as an indigenous bank that has been dedicated to serving the public while growing in a profitable and sustainable manner.
It also reaffirms our commitment to making it easy for Ugandans to own a home and achieve all their financial aspirations. We are, therefore, delighted to be celebrating 50 years of our existence because these have been shaped by our tireless commitment to serving our customers.
We are also excited for the next 50 years because of the opportunity that we have been given to continue making a meaningful impact on the households across the country.
A number of indigenous banks have opened and closed after a few years, what has kept you going strong?
Indigenous banks opening and closing a few years later is not a Ugandan issue, but rather a global industry challenge. But if you are to check, the biggest concern that seems to run through the banks that have closed is mainly around governance.I am confident that one of the key pillars that have kept us going is the presence of strong governance.
Our leadership and governance, right from the board, through the management and staff has been rock solid. We have governance structures in place, and their tenets are upheld. Banks sell trust and once this trust is eroded, chances of collapsing are high. Housing Finance Bank has built a legacy that is based on the core values of excellence, respect, integrity and customercentricity.
We are always willing and committed to service over and above the minimum standards, and we always uphold high moral and ethical principles in our actions towards customers and all other stakeholders. We respect and recognise the ideas and opinions of our customers and are focused on the superior satisfaction of those we serve at all times. These are the guiding principles that have kept the bank strong for the last 50 years and will continue to guide all of the bank's actions in the future. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY
Housing Finance has over 50 products, services
Exactly 50 years ago, Housing Finance Bank started with only two products, savings bank and mortgage financing. Over the years, the bank has been adding more products and services designed to suit customers' dreams and aspirations. Below, we look at some of the products and services offered by the bank.
The bank has maintained its niche in mortgage financing, and is currently the leading mortgage lender in the country, with approximately 60% of all Ugandan mortgage accounts. To meet the customers' diverse demands, the bank has come up with a number of products. These include:
This loan is for clients who are interested in purchasing or completing their residential property. With the home loan, clients can access up to 100% financing to enable them realise their dreams. This facility has a maximum repayment period of 20 years at affordable interest rates.
Growing house loan
For a maximum of sh60m, clients can access this loan to enable them construct houses incrementally. This loan is available to anyone who has reached the foundation level of construction. Maximum repayment period is 10 years. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY
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