All of the banks in the country have disbursed 55 billion Br in loans over the first quarter of the current fiscal year, of which 85pc of it is pledged to the private sector. During the reporting period, the average lending rate of the banks stood at 14.3pc, while the average savings rate was recorded at eight percent. In the first quarter of this fiscal year, 105 million Br in new savings were mobilised, a six-fold rise compared to the same period of the previous year. After the central bank introduced new banknotes, a total of 1.2 million new bank accounts have been opened, mobilising a total of 37 billion Br. However, loan repayment has shown a decline due to the negative impacts of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Yinager Dessie (PhD), governor of the central bank, which amended 47 laws in the past three months. The central bank has also issued a permit to the nation's first full-fledged interest-free bank -- ZamZam Bank. Currently, there are 16 operational private commercial banks and two-state owned banks.
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