NMBZ shuts down 4 branches

NMBZ Holdings Limited has closed four branches in the nine months to September 30, 2020 as the financial institution embraces digitisation.

By Melody Chikono

The group is also in the process of establishing an agency network throughout the country to facilitate physical touch points, in need, for potential and existing customers.

In a trading update for the third quarter ended September 30 2020, company secretary Shumirai Pashapa said the bank closed the Eastgate, Chitungwiza, Kwekwe and Victoria Falls branches.

“As a result of the digital transformation drive, the bank closed the Eastgate, Chitungwiza and Kwekwe branches in the nine months to September 30, 2020 and the Victoria Falls branch was closed subsequent to the review period. We are in the process of establishing an agency network throughout the country to facilitate physical touch points, in need, for potential and existing customers. We successfully moved our head office to the new home along Borrowdale Road in the quarter under review. In addition, the bank’s excellence branch, which was previously located at the Borrowdale Sam Levy’s Village, was moved to the new head office effective October 1, 2020,” she said.

During the period, the group, in spite of the challenging operating environment and the adverse impact of COVID-19, recorded an inflation-adjusted 22% growth in total income for the period compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

The bank’s regulatory capital as at September 30, 2020 of $2,8 billion was above the minimum required regulatory capital of $25 million and translated to a capital adequacy ratio of 36,70% (31 December 2019 — 39,49%) which was significantly above the prescribed regulatory minimum ratio of 12%.

In the quarter under review, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe extended the compliance deadline to December 31, 2021 in respect of the new minimum capital threshold of the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent of US$30 million for banking institutions with a tier 1 status.

Pashapa said the bank remained committed and focused on achieving the required minimum capital level for a tier 1 bank by the set deadline.

Going forward, the group said it was not anticipating any further significant adverse impact on its performance on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, we continue to closely monitor the situation due to the nature of the pandemic and the resurgence phenomenon which has been experienced elsewhere in the world. We are optimistic that the stability of the local currency markets will continue to prevail in order to have a predictable and conducive operating environment for businesses. The group’s banking subsidiary will continue the drive to enhance its digital offerings in order to improve the customer experience which will contribute to the bank’s strategic focus of broadening its market segment,”she said.

“In pursuit of the revised capitalisation levels, the group is pursuing a number of value-preservation strategies to ensure the preservation and growth of the bank’s regulatory capital.”

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