‘NO TURNING BACK ON CHRISTIAN BANK’
IT is a point of no return for the proposed Christian bank by the Sichwaga Wealth Solutions Investment (SWESI), a company that is 100 per cent owned by the Swaziland Conference of Churches.
SWESI Managing Director Reverend Winston Shongwe said the project was definitely taking shape, noting that 2018 had great things in store for them.
Addressing founder member subscribers (FMS) at Alcon House in Manzini on Saturday, Reverend Shongwe said since 2016, they had been trying to meet the demands of regulatory bodies such as the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and could now confidently state that everything was well on course.
“They (FSRA) are fully behind us since they are aware of our every move and have also licensed us to supervise the micro finance provider (MFP) which is waiting to be rolled out soon,” Shongwe said.
He said there was definitely no going back now on the proposed Christian bank, whose setting up is projected to cost in the region of over E160 million.
Reverend Shongwe urged the brethren to pray for the project’s success and also contribute through capitalising it so that its sustenance is guaranteed.
Further, he clarified that there were no shares being sold by SWESI through this project as this was a business venture fully owned by the SCC. In the same note, Shongwe reminded individuals who had out of their own volition parted with E16 600 into SWESI that E1 600 was non-redeemable or nonrefundable as it was transferred to the SCC to capitalise it. Only E15 000 of this figure would be invested with the SWESI on a fixed interest rate as agreed in the contract forms signed by the FMS and SWESI.
During its AGM on May 11, 2016, members of the SCC resolved to capitalise the organisation so it was bailed out from the E2 million deficit it faced. A resource mobilisation team was set up under the SCC whose mandate was to motivate the 200 member churches contribute towards the rescue mission of the organisation.
On top of the 200 member churches targeted to capitalise SCC, a similar number of individuals (200) from each of the member denominations of SCC were targeted as founding member subscribers (FMS) with the same purpose of capitalising the organisation to realise a turn-around in its fortunes.
This resulted to the birth of the SWESI, an investment company where SCC has a 100 per cent shareholding.
“April is indeed a month full of activity in terms of rolling out the great vision of SWESI. We are fully dependent on God Almighty to have the Christian bank established in the not so distant future. The train is starting to move and we are grateful to God Almighty for this,” Shongwe said.
The architect’s impression of the Christian bank was also presented to the FMS and the bank will be constructed presumably on land belonging to the SCC. Alongside the establishment of the first ever Christian bank in the kingdom, the SWESI is rolling out a syndicated lending scheme and FMS were encouraged to support these initiatives.
TAKING SHAPE: An artist's impression of the over E160 million Christian bank pioneered by Sichwaga Wealth Solutions Investments (SWESI) in Manzini, a company owned by the Swaziland Conference of Churches.