Time Bank Of Zimbabwe Ltd Reopens After An 18-year Break

1 year agoThu, 17 Nov 2022 07:49:25 GMT
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Time Bank Of Zimbabwe Ltd Reopens After An 18-year Break

Time Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd reopened its doors last month, after an 18-year break.

The resumption follows a pre-opening inspection and authorisation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

The bank will operate a new business model whereby it will start by lending out to various categories of clients without taking deposits and review the model at an appropriate time, The Herald reported citing a statement by Time Bank. 

The statement also indicated that the bank would now focus more on investment banking activities and has already started offering mortgage loans. Read the statement in part:

The bank is now offering mortgage loans with effect from 27 October 2022 and other loans, with effect from December 1, 2022.

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These include:

i). exporters’ loans including first-time exporters,

ii). corporate loans,

iii). factoring of book debts,

iv). discounting of medium-term bills and promissory notes,

v). discounting exporters’ receivables and consumer loans. 

Time Bank added that it will with effect from December 1, 2022 offer services such as portfolio management services, advisory services, financial agency services and consultancy services.

The bank closed operations in 2004 and had its banking licence cancelled in 2006, but disputed the reasons for its closure and cancellation of its licence.

The bank in a notice this week said it resumed operations on October 27, 2022, after getting the green light from the central bank but with restrictions not to take in deposits.

Some context:

Time Bank which was Founded by Mr Chris Takura Tande, began operations in 1997 becoming the first locally-owned indigenous commercial bank. 

After prolonged legal battles, it emerged the bank was owed US$5 million by RBZ before its closure which created financial problems for the bank.

As Time Bank demanded a refund of the money, RBZ responded by putting the bank under a disputed curator in 2004 and cancelled the licence two years later.

After the cancellation of its licence, the RBZ tried to put Time Bank into ZABG, but Time Bank objected strongly, and given the intensity of legal fights, the RBZ left Time Bank out of ZABG.

The courts reinstated the licence of Time Bank in 2009 but the bank could not operate, as RBZ could not do a handover of the assets, documents and affairs of Time Bank in the normal way at the end of curatorship, from the former curator to the bank’s directors.

In 2015, the RBZ and Time Bank entered into a settlement agreement under which the RBZ agreed to refund Time Bank US$5 million.

They also agreed on the issue of the outstanding handover/takeover as well as the re-opening of Time Bank, subject to pre-opening inspection. 

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