Royal Bank reopens doors to banking public

The Royal Bank of Zimbabwe on Monday reopened its doors to the banking public months after having been relicenced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

The bank opened its Takura House branch in Harare. It becomes the second of the three relicenced banks to open after Trust Bank.

Royal Bank was closed six years ago after the banking sector crisis of 2004, but was reissued with a licence last year together with Trust and Barbican.

RBZ last year reinstated the licences of Trust bank, Barbican bank and Royal bank.

The three commercial banks were shut down in 2004 and merged to form the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Corporation.

Royal Bank chief executive officer Jeff Mzwimbi last year said the returning bank had struck agreements with regional and international banks for lines of credit and would start lending to productive sectors of the economy soon after getting approval to resume operations.

At the weekend Mzwimbi told the local media the bank would unveil funding for agriculture.

“We will have at least three branches in Harare as part of our plan. We will be financing agriculture as well, which is key to this economy.

“This is buttressed by our opening of branches as well in farming towns such as Karoi, Chegutu, Chipinge and Nyanga. We will be unveiling, with time, products that are supported by the distribution network,” said Mzwimbi.

In his monetary policy statement last month RBZ governor Gideon Gono said the country’s banking sector had experienced a gradual improvement in its intermediation role since the introduction of the multi-currency regime.

“The banking sector has generally remained in a safe and sound financial condition, notwithstanding the challenging macroeconomic environment characterised mainly by market illiquidity, low savings, volatile deposits and short term loans,” he said.

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