An investment vehicle linked to Mines minister Obert Mpofu’s family recently concluded a US$22,5 million asset-backed transaction in the bank’s recapitalisation.
The executive told Standardbusiness: “Following the successful conclusion of the recapitalisation transaction, ZABG Bank has a stronger balance sheet position that enhances our business underwriting capacity. We are therefore upbeat on our ability to grow our liabilities market share going forward.”
The executive said the bank planned to widen its footprint in strategic centres.
ZABG has a network of 22 branches and agencies located in major centres nationwide, discounting news that the bank plans to move its head office to Bulawayo.
ZABG was on the brink of collapse after failing to meet the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) minimum capital requirements of US$12,5 million for commercial banks.
It was only rescued after Trebo&Khays, Mpofu’s company, agreed to invest in it US$22,5 million.
“ZABG Bank aims to positively impact on the lives of its customers and stakeholders in all the productive sectors of the Zimbabwean economy, including the mining sector, through the provision of a diverse range of products and services that are tailored to meet the unique needs of its customers,” said the executive. “In this connection, the bank has exciting innovative products in the pipeline.”
ZABG was created in 2006 through a merger of three failed banks: Trust, Royal and Barbican.
When the founders of the three banks fought for their assets, RBZ unbundled ZABG into four banks — Trust, Royal, Barbican and ZABG.
As a result, ZABG had to rebuild its strength.
The executive said the unbundling, “combined with enhanced brand visibility and excellent customer service, effectively eliminated perceptions related to the demerger”.
In January, RBZ governor Gideon Gono, gave three undercapitalised banks — Royal, ZABG and Genesis — a February 14 deadline to submit plans on how they would meet the prescribed capital thresholds. He said banks that failed to adhere would be closed.
It was at this juncture that Mpofu’s investment vehicle came into the picture. Royal secured a Kenyan investor while Genesis recently surrendered its licence after failing to raise the required capital.
Bank aims to bolster market reach
Standardbusiness was told that the bank wants to invest in state-of-the-art technology to reach out to intended markets.
The bank also plans to roll out ATMs that take out deposits, in an aggressive push to bolster its deposits base.
The executive would not shed light, saying it “shall continue to widen its delivery channels, among other ways, through revamping its infrastructure and upgrading its ICT systems in line with technological advancements”.
“To this end, Automated Teller Machines, Point of Sale systems, Mobile and Internet banking shall remain top priority,” he said.