Bank of China failing Zambians

Filed under: Breaking News,Business |

By Chipindi Caleb Fundanga

The Bank of China in Zambia is responsible for handling over 70% of business handled by Chinese firms in Zambia whether its facilitation of loans and payments or the management of letter of credits.

What many individuals don’t realize is The Bank of China only truly operates in the interest of Chinese nationals. Zambian nationals with transactions with Chinese firms are permitted to setup accounts with them and even use them as intermediary for transactions with suppliers in China for foreign exchange purposes but that’s as good as it gets even then unforeseen situations arise.

Bank of China has never given a Zambian entrepreneur or corporation a loan facility no matter how profitable the transaction may end up. The bank continues to profit immensely with most of the infrastructure projects handed out by government going to Chinese firms who bank with Bank of China. In a state where it is proven fact that our government over evaluates the bill of quantities on infrastructure projects, it is then disheartening to imagine none of these resources are ever kept in circulation to allow the same citizens who suffer the greater economic cost to benefit.

China as a nation itself was built on the wheels of small and medium enterprises that later developed into corporations, one example of how this is relayed in many Chinese firmsis the bicycle wheel which even appears on the Bank of China logo and many other Chinese financial institutions. Zambians cannot be seen to bully financial institutions that come and invest in the country but as citizens it is our divine right to question the ethics these institutions uphold themselves by. In a global village that we find ourselves in Bank of China is playing the role of the grim reaper, taking what is ours, leaving us in condemnation.

A look at their corporate social responsibility leaves nothing to be admired. With pitiful donations like soccer jerseys and soccer balls, the bank even had the audacity of parading these pictures at their stand at this year’s Agriculture and Commercial Show in Zambia.

What is even more disturbing about the conduct of Bank of China is the manner in which they treat the Zambians who transact with their firm. Zambian entrepreneurs who have dealt with Bank of China for even up to four years transacting bi-weekly to facilitate payments to their suppliers have found themselves being reported to the Financial Investigation Unit, these are individuals who regularly make transactions with the bank and their Chinese suppliers but find themselves castigated as their business develops.

Zambia cannot keep bending over to our Chinese counterparts and citizens must monitor such institutions. It is not impossible for Bank of China to improve their conduct; their Indian counterparts Indo Zambia Bank Limited have worked diligently in the community helping not only their own but also facilitating for local business to develop.

Chipindi Caleb Fundanga

Investment Consultant

Institute of Finance and Economics


15 Responses to Bank of China failing Zambians

  1. Interesting observations. This is a deliberate strategy by China. The so called “Going out strategy ” involves government funding and supporting SMEs to grow in China before unleashing them to African countries with emphasis not to come back to Africa. The government continues offering all manner of support even making their products ridiculously low to capture the market. Because all the money comes from the government, they have to find a way to repatriate this money to support more SMES. .hence the setting up of Chinese banks. The biggest tragedy is that China knows what it wants from Africa while Africa has no clue of what it wants from China. It’s such an abusive relationship. ..we need counselling.

    August 24, 2017 at 6:40 am

  2. I like this discussion. My take is that we tend to be blinded by certain pittances from developed economies because we do not sit down and analyse what is in it for us. I agree that these developed countries are here not because they love Zambians. They are here because they love themselves and will do anything to get what they want from us, while we will do nothing to even clearly determine or understand what we want.

    Talking about Chinese investors, I am not sure if the Chinese we end up with here are best there is. When you go to America, Europe and even South Africa, the Chinese investors you find there are top class and are investing in all sorts of real investments and not just trading in commodities made in China. The question is: Are we intimidated to engage big-time Chinese captains of industry or what? I am not convinced that we are getting the best out of China, considering their massive capacity.

    I may be wrong, but this is worth discussing so that we get for ourselves the best deals Chinese can offer.

    August 24, 2017 at 7:55 am

  3. Nice article so when we talk then they say no we don’t like the government but even these guys are eating masuku pa mutu for us. Trump is investigating these guys with their selfish poor policies.

    August 24, 2017 at 7:57 am

  4. This is the problem of Africans, their leadership, and governments – not China.
    The Chinese know what they want and have taken advantage of weak corrupt government institutions in Africa.
    Instead of focusing on such major financial and economic impact issues as highlighted above, corrupt ECL and his PF government are busy focusing on trivial political issues chasing after HH – aspects which have no major bearing on SMEs, financials, and economic prosperity of the country.
    So, while PF is busy chasing after HH, China will smartly rip off the country – and, so, should they be blamed for staying focused with their agenda as to why they came to Zambia in the first place.

    So, my take is that the author is blaming the wrong side of the coin – the error is us Zambians not China.
    If I may ask, who issued Bank of China the operating license and what were the terms of reference??
    It’s ironic, somebody comes into your house and starts to dictate to you – who do you blame?
    In summary, until us as Africans realize our many numerous mistakes and stop shifting the blame – only then can we move forward!

    The Phantom Rascal
    August 25, 2017 at 12:29 am

  5. I love the spirit of heart with which all of you are speaking. Somehow I find myself agreeing with every post above. Yes China is fake but we are fake too!!

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