Covid-19 impact forces NMB to accelerate digitalisation programmes

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed financial unit, NMB Bank Limited says it has suspended expenditure on all projects outside its new digitised systems occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The details were revealed by the NMB company secretary, Shumirai Pashapa during a trading update presentation recently.

“In this time of unprecedented economic and business uncertainty, NMB has firmly focused its attention on protecting our business by suspension of all capital expenditure and limiting it to expenditures that promote the new operating order under digitalised systems,” she said.

Pashapa said the institution was working towards mitigating any potential adverse financial impact and ensuring that the Group was well positioned for a recovery trajectory post the pandemic.

Some immediate actions being taken include putting in place mechanisms to enabling offsite working for all the critical staff, reviewing all discretionary and non-essential expenditures, enabling customers to transact through digital platforms.

She said the firm has accelerated the digital transformation drive after having commenced such work prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The bank had embarked on a digitalisation drive to improve the customer experience, enhancement of service delivery and broadening the customer digital touch points.

“This strategy has proven to be quite pivotal in the current operating environment,” she said.

NMB liquidity position remained very strong at a ratio of 56 % and was above the statutory minimum of 30%.

In spite of the challenges posed by the difficult operating environment and the pandemic, the Group remained solvent and the directors are confident of the ability to continue to operate as a going concern.

Added Pashapa, “Due to the nature of the pandemic, the already challenging operating environment in the country and the uncertainty surrounding the extent and duration of the lockdown restrictions; the impact on Group’s profitability in 2020 cannot be presently estimated to a reasonable degree.”