By PETER SICHALI
FOREIGN Banks should be subjected to forensic audit so that they do not sabotage the economy, UPP president Saviour Chishimba has said.
Dr Chishimba said foreign banks especially South African institutions were advancing the interest of the firms from their country at the expense of local companies.
He said South African firms were getting loans at low rates in that country thereby disadvantaging Zambian companies who acquire loans from the same banks at higher rates.
Dr Chishimba suggested that the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) should subject foreign banks to forensic audit and ensure that they retain foreign exchange in Zambia, as it was critical to economic recovery.
According to him, most foreign banks were promoting the interest of foreign companies at the expense of local firms and this was tantamount to sabotage.
He said some foreign firms borrowed from South Africa at low interest rates and were allowed to service the loans from Zambia thereby disadvantaging local players.
“You will find that some South African company borrows money in South Africa at lower interest rates and then they are later allowed to service their loans here meaning that the playing field is not leveled.
“These banks are promoting the interest of foreign companies at the expense of local firms, thereby destabilising the economy,” Dr Chishimba said.
He said growth of local firms had been a challenge because foreign banks were more concerned with the growth of foreign companies at the expense of the local economy.
Dr Chishimba said UPP will run for 2021 elections and that it was not considering an alliance with other opposition political parties.