At a time when a country like South Africa has realised the importance of tightening legislation on the lending done by financial institutions to the public, all for the noble reason of protecting consumers, it is alarming to the see the rate at which lending institutions proudly flight what I would call irresponsible adverts luring people to access seemingly easy money.
In my na├»ve outlook to business, any reputable and principled business, making money in any country has the implied responsibility to serve the people of that country honestly, putting sustainable measures in place ahead of making a quick buck … ‘Yeah I warned you about my being na├»ve right?’
I know that my proposition sounds like a statement from an outdated text book but deep down some of us still hope that these principles of ‘basic’ good businessmanship were still possible.
The situation in Botswana calls for financial institutions such as banks to help people create their own sustainable wealth by helping us make the right choices and adamantly advising us against making ‘silly’ choices concerning our finances which without doubt have an impact in the long-term.
One is shocked to see billboards all over the city suggesting getting loans for such things as shopping sprees, plasma televisions, wedding ceremonies etc. What of credit cards being pushed onto people earning as little as P750 only… I’ll leave you to struggle with the mathematics and tell me what a person earning such a pittance is supposed to do with a credit card.
You must even ask our president, he knows that as Batswana most of us are living beyond our means and we need help. We need to start considering saving up and try to build ourselves sound financial bases. But how can we possibly do that when irresponsible lending and quick fixes to what we consider our financial woes are a big part of our environment. What exactly are we teaching our young… that nothing is financially impossible as we are always only another loan away from solving our issues?
But then again who am I? I also earn a pittance; I am in need of a state of the art plasma screen, holidays coupled with shopping sprees, hey and throw in a credit card for good measure… and I might even get married while at it or maybe even buy a fongkong? Decisions, decisions, decisions… Banks here I come!