NMB Bank has entered into a correspondent bank agreement with Ecobank International in France and the Bank of China in Johannesburg after a German bank moved out of the US dollar clearing business in Zimbabwe.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Commerzbank recently told local banks to close their Nostro accounts with it, forcing local banks to look for other options.
NMB Bank chief executive Benefit Washaya said they had set up an arrangement with alternative correspondent banks to ensure their customers continue to make international payments and receive money from abroad.
“The decision to enter into an agreement with new correspondent banks, which could have been misunderstood and given rise to rumours that the bank was in trouble, was taken in the light of the decision taken by Commerzbank,” he said.
“We moved quickly to establish agreements with Ecobank International and the Bank of China in Johannesburg to ensure that we can still transact business internationally on behalf of our clients and that their foreign transactions are not disrupted.”
A correspondent bank is a financial institution that provides services on behalf of another. Zimbabwean banks make use of correspondent banks for international transactions.
Washaya said the bank was on a sound liquidity footing, dismissing claims on social media that the institution was heading for collapse.
“The bank is on a strong growth path. We are expanding our branch network and issuing loans on the back of credit lines arranged with the help from our international shareholders,” he said.
“Our liquidity position remains strong with high balances on real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS) and the bank is an active lender on the interbank market.”