ECOBANK Zimbabwe Limited, a unit of pan-African Ecobank Group, has increased its branch network during the last quarter as the bank seeks to grow its retail banking market share.
Ecobank Zimbabwe managing director Daniel Sackey said the bank commenced operations with three branches in Harare and Bulawayo in 2011, and the bank’s footprint had now grown to 13 branches in Harare, Bulawayo, Chiredzi, Chitungwiza, Kwekwe and Mutare following the addition of two more branches in Msasa and Graniteside in the last quarter of 2013.
“The opening of these additional branches is testimony of our commitment to fulfilling the promises we have made to our customers when Ecobank invested in Zimbabwe two years ago, that of making banking reliable, accessible and affordable to our retail and corporate banking customers” Sackey said.
“Graniteside and Msasa branches are strategic industrial sites whose potential any bank cannot ignore and provide Ecobank with a platform to serve not only the industrial customers but passing traffic and retail customers in the industrial environs, who we desire to provide with a pan-African experience.”
Next year the bank has plans to roll out additional branches in Southerton, Gweru and Masvingo among other key cities and towns to ensure countrywide coverage.
This would be buttressed with the launch of new technologically driven banking solutions that will include a robust mobile wallet, a Pan African Card and Acceptance of Visa, MasterCard and China Union Pay cards to offer enhanced convenience, accessibility and affordability to customers in and outside Africa.
The bank recently reported a $1,2 million profit before tax for the first six months of this year, up 2 370% from the same comparative period, driven by growth in net interest income.
The bank’s net interest income was up 116% to $4,6 million after the parent company extended more lines of credit to the local unit. The growth, according to managing director Sackey, was also driven by lower cost funds aided by an increased contribution from low interest bearing deposits.