STANDARD Chartered Bank has added a second branch in Bulawayo with officials saying the financial institution is playing its role in the industrial revival of the city.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
The bank plans to invest $100 million over the next three years in Africa.
The new branch is located in the industrial zone of the city, Belmont.
Officially opening the branch yesterday, Standard Chartered Bank chairman Samuel Rushwaya said the additional outlet was an indication of the bank’s continuous commitment to Zimbabwe.
“In 2012, we made the decision to add a second branch for our customers and clients in Bulawayo as we seek to support industry revival initiatives for Bulawayo, a key industrial hub for Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Belmont branch opened its doors to the public on December 26 2012.”
Standard Chartered is the oldest financial institution in Zimbabwe and its first branch was in Bulawayo operating from a tent. Through the bank’s total network of 25 branches and 36 ATM’s, Rushwaya said the institution had remained at the forefront of providing access to financial services to over 90 000 customers in both consumer banking and wholesale banking.
“Despite the challenging operating environment, the bank has remained fully committed to its staff, customers and the community in which it operates in,” he said.
“lndeed our results, announced on Tuesday, show record financial performance for Africa — 15% average growth over five years.
“Indeed, the opening of this branch is part of the bank’s commitment to invest $100 million over the next three years on the continent expanding its branch network.”
Standard Chartered’s private equity arm says it is looking for more deals in Zimbabwe, basing on the rise in consumer spending after years of hyperinflation.
The British bank, whose private equity business has assets under management of about $4,5 billion, made an investment in Zimbabwean agri-business Ariston Holdings through one of its portfolio companies, Afrifresh Group, last year.
The transaction was worth about $20 million. Ariston was previously listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.