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No cash woes here, Econet’s Steward Bank

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ECONET Wireless Chief Executive Officer Douglas Mboweni declared Wednesday that Steward Bank is safe, strong and liquid, and will not be affected by the liquidity crisis.
The telecoms giant moved to reassure its clients as a biting liquidity crunch has seen the return of long queues and the imposition of unpopular cash withdrawal limits.
Worst affected are the indigenous-owned Allied Bank and Metbank as well as the State-owned POSB.
Mboweni said since taking over the bank, Econet had implemented some tough restructuring of the institution formerly known as TN Bank.
“We brought in experts who looked very carefully at what was needed to operate a bank successfully in a market with no lender of last resort,” he said.
“We cleaned up the balance sheet, wrote off bad loans, and fully recapitalised the bank. We eliminated all systemic weaknesses.”
Lender of last resort
Econet, which controls 100 percent of Steward Bank, said in a market with no lender of last resort, the shareholder of the bank must be very strong financially and the bank must be properly capitalised.
Mboweni said that funds from EcoCash are managed through a special trust arrangement set up with the approval of the Reserve Bank, and the trust has its own independent trustees, who have nothing to do with the bank or its shareholders.
“We do not touch that money. If you send money, we have it, and we do not lend it. If every single person came for their money tomorrow