NMB Bank has informed its customers to ignore claims circulating on social media alleging that it was heading for either collapse or curatorship and urging account holders to move their money.
In a statement emailed to its customers on Monday night, the NMB Bank chief executive, Benefit Washaya said the bank was in a sound financial position, contrary to the social media claims.
“Please ignore the malicious messages about NMB Bank circulating on social media,” said Washaya.
“I am not sure where such rumours emanated from but nothing could be further from the truth.
“The bank is in a sound financial position and is in fact expanding its branch network and issuing loans, including mortgages, on the back of credit lines arranged with help from our international shareholders.”
The social media claims started circulating last Friday with one message urging people with accounts at the bank to withdraw their cash as the institution would soon go under curatorship.
However, in its statement, NMD said it had entered into a correspondent bank agreement with Ecobank International in France and the Bank of China in South Africa, following a decision by Commerzbank in Germany to review their business in Zimbabwe.
“The decision by Commerzbank to ask Zimbabwean banks to close their Nostro accounts with it was reported in local media last week. NMB Bank had already, by then, entered into an agreement with Ecobank and the Bank of China.”
Washaya said the bank moved swiftly to set up an arrangement with alternative correspondent banks to ensure its customers continue to make international payments and receive money from offshore sources.
A correspondent bank provides services on behalf of another financial institution. Zimbabwean banks make use of correspondent banks for international transactions.
“Our liquidity position remains strong with high balances on RTGS and the bank is an active lender on the interbank market. The bank’s ability to access lines of credit for the benefit of its customers, which is facilitated by its foreign shareholders, is well known,” said the NMB chief executive.
“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 a decision taken in the light of the decision taken by Commerzbank.Advertisement
“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.”