Steward Bank

From Pindula

Steward Bank
Trading name
Steward Bank (Pvt) Ltd
Formerly called
TN Bank
Industry Financial Services
Founded 2009 (2009)
Founder Tawanda Nyambirai
Headquarters 101 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
Lance Mambondiani, CEO
Oluwatomisin Fashina, Chairman
Parent Econet Wireless Zimbabwe
Footnotes / references
Office Hours
Mon - Fri 0800 hrs - 1530 hrs
Sat 0800 hrs - 1130 hrs
Sun & Public Holidays CLOSED
Contact Number 0808 8888

Steward Bank, is a commercial bank registered and trading in Zimbabwe. Founded as TN Bank in 2001, it later re-branded in 2013, after majority shareholding was bought by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, becoming the banking partner/platform that EcoCash runs on.

Founding and History

The bank was established in 2001. At that time it was called TN Asset Management. The company was later developed into the second largest asset management firm in Zimbabwe after which it acquired a Finance House in 2006 which was renamed TN Financial Holdings. Three years later the company merged with a furniture company Tedco to form TN Holdings Limited.[1] The same year saw the company introducing banking operations. In 2013, the bank was acquired by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.[2] This move was largely seen as a means for Econet to aggressively roll out its mobile money offering - Ecocash, and was said also to aide the mobile network to help increase the number of smartphone devices that will directly increase the data usage of its customers.[3] The bank went on to make a massive $10.4m loss in its first 14 months of trading as an Econet subsidiary.[3]

Products and Services


In October 2013, the bank launched a new product, 'EcoCash Save'. The product was a first in the country as it allows subscribers to open and operate bank accounts without filling use of documents such as filling of forms,[4] Further, the bank started offering loan facilities for Ecocash subscribers. Subscribers would have access to over $20 million raised through EcoSave. This means that subscribers can transfer money through EcoCash, save via the EcoSave facility and borrow through EcoCash loans.[5] The greatest achievement came when more than one million customers have opened bank accounts with Steward Bank, through its EcoCashSave.[6]

International Remittances

Steward Bank is also an agent for Western Union money transfer services and it disburses funds through its network of branches country wide. The bank also allows people in the diaspora to remit back home using the EcoCash platform on their mobile phones. The bank has created a business relationship with the EcoCash facility to cater for its local and diaspora customer base.[7]

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International Payments

This is a special service which allows customers to make payments to regional and overseas accounts. As a member of SWIFT (Society of Worldwide Interbank Funds Transfers), the Bank handles client incoming and outgoing electronic foreign payments and thus facilitates international trade.[8]

Exchange Control

Steward Bank provides individuals and corporates with consultancy on Exchange Control regulations as they affect local and international investors. The bank also assists in the processing of Exchange Control applications where possible.[9]

Exports and Imports

Steward Bank has international correspondents and external partners who help in the arrangement of finances to assist its clients funding their working capital and capital expenditure requirements. Through this facility, the bank allows local diasporans to invest in local projects while simultaneously linking the local investors to the international business world.[10]

Personal Banking

  • Personal Current Account Services
  • Personal Saving Account Services
  • EcoCashSave Account
  • Online Banking

Corporate Banking Services

  • Agent Banking
  • Agri-Business
  • Online Banking
  • Non-Profit Organisations
  • Corporate Finance & Advisory Services


The bank has over 20 branches around the country.[11]


Steward Bank is run by a board of directors. In February 2013, the company appointed a South African business guru Kwanele Ngwenya to be its Chief Executive Officer. Ngwenya took over from George Nyashanu who had assumed a different position int he company.


In August 2014, the Steward Bank sponsored golf team won the inagural edition of th John Nkomo memorial golf tournament held in Bulawayo. The tournament was organised by the family and friends of the late vice president John Nkomo.[12] In August 2014, the Bank eventually unveiled its website with a live chat service to effect good communication with thousands of its customers.[13]

Branchless Banking

As part of its adjustment to the changing banking business landscape, Steward Bank introduced a branchless banking model on the 26th of November 2014 in Harare. Steward Bank was the first in the country to introduce such a model and it was seen part of its innovative approach which had previously seen a successful partnership with Econet's EcoCash facility. Under this new model, selected EcoCash agents were able to offer a number of services under the Steward Bank banner. The bank also introduced the AllSave Bank account as the primary account for individuals.[14]


In 2013, the bank won the ICT achievers awards winner under the ICT Supportive Bank Sector, Steward Bank.[13]



In April 2014, the bank embarked on a massive retrenchment programme that rendered about 40% of the banks workforce jobless. More than 127 employees, were retrenched. This was triggered by the bank's performance in 2013 that saw it record an operating loss of $24.5 million in August 2013, down from an operating profit of $2.3 million recorded in 2012.[15]

Court Battles with The Source and Office Raids

A publication called The Source ran a series of stories in which they outlined how government had resorted to domestic borrowing, and that through a deal brokered by Tawanda Nyambirai, an Econet subsidiary held US $30 million in government treasury bills.[16] This was also followed up by another story in which the publication said that Steward Bank sought to recover money it had lent to Phillip Chiyangwa through the acquisition of residential stands owned by the former.After having agreed to remove the articles at the behest of Steward Bank, The Source was raided by officials from the bank accompanied by the police. The move was denounced as a bullying tactic by the bank and attempts to gag the media. As if this was not enough, journalists who showed up at the bank's press conference demonstrated with some walking out.
Journalists demonstrating


  1. History, 'Steward Bank', Published: ND, Retrieved: 6 May 2014
  2. Overview,l 'Steward Bank', Published: ND, Retrieved: 6 May 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 TN bank suffers US$10,4 million loss,l 'Staff Writer', Published: 7 Jun 2013, Retrieved: 9 Jan 2015
  4. EcoCash launches new banking product, 'Herald', Published: 10 Oct 2013, Retrieved: 6 May 2013
  5. Victoria Mtomba EcoCash launches credit facility, 'NewsDay', Published: 3 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 6 May 2014
  6. Njabulo Ncube, [1], Southern Eye, Published: 30 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 6 May 2014
  7. , Diaspora EcoCash Banking Services,Steward Bank, retrieved:9 Jan 2015
  8. , International Payments,Steward Bank, Retrieved:9 Jan 2015"
  9. , Exchange Control,Steward Bank Limited, Retrieved:9 Jan 2015
  10. , Exports and Imports,Steward Bank,Retrieved:9 Jan 2015
  11. 335 lose jobs as ZB Bank, Steward Bank rationalise operations, NewsDay, Published: 24 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 6 May 2014
  12. M. Sibanda, Steward Bank wins memorial golf tourney,The Sunday News, published:24 Aug 2014,retrieved:9 Jan 2015"
  13. 13.0 13.1 T.T Rutsito, Steward Bank Finally Unveils Website, With Live Chat Support,Technomag, published:23 Feb 2014,retrieved:9 Jan 2015"
  14. N. Gambanga, Steward Bank goes branchless with new Agent Banking Model,Tech Zim, Published:26 Nov 2014, Retrieved:9 Jan 2015"
  15. Steward bank lays off 40pc of staff, New Zimbabwe, Published: 22 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 6 May 2014
  16. LSM Kabweza Econet, Steward & the raid on The Source: Is this a violation of the Constitution?, TechZim, Published: March 26, 2015, Retrieved: March 27, 2015