THE ZB Financial Holdings Limited (ZBFH) board has approved the group’s merger of ZB Bank Limited and ZB Building Society by end of June this year.
ZBFH said in line with the intention to focus on the core business areas of universal banking and universal insurance, the ZBFH board has approved measures for the disposal or voluntary winding up of ZB Asset Management Company Limited and the disposal or voluntary winding up of ZB Securities (Private) Limited.
Part of the statement read: “The group is proceeding with the merger of ZB Bank Limited and ZB Building Society. It is anticipated that the transaction will be concluded by 30 June 2014.
“ZBFH is confident that once completed, these measures will lead to a leaner, more focused and profitable enterprise.”
In a statement accompanying the group’s results for the year ended December 2013, ZBFH recorded a disappointing profit for the year of $0,9 million as compared to $10,9 million in 2012 due to reduction in income which was not met by a commensurate decrease in costs.
ZBFH chairperson Bothwell Nyajeka said the decline in income was partly due to management’s deliberate decision not to increase the lending book.
“This was done to curb the increase in the loans to deposit ratio which was restricted to 61%.
“The memorandum of understanding concluded between the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe had a significant impact on the group’s revenues derived from banking commissions and charges,” Nyajeka said.
Nyajeka said the group has embarked on a group-wide cost cutting exercise, benefits of which would be more visible in the future.