Time Bank granted permission to resume operations

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE’s first locally owned commercial bank, Time Bank of Zimbabwe Limited has been allowed to reopen for business following the successful completion of readiness to commence business assessments.

However, the regulator, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has not allowed the institution to accept deposits from the public.

In an update Tuesday, the RBZ said the bank was now free to commence business.

“It is hereby notified that Time Bank of Zimbabwe Limited has been authorised to conduct limited banking activities in terms of the Banking Act (Chapter 24:20).

“Having regard to the institution’s risk management and structures and processes, level of capitalisation, corporate governance arrangements, its business plan and the Banking Act, Time Bank has been authorised to conduct limited banking activities and shall not be taking deposits from the public ,” the RBZ’s registrar of banks said in a statement.

Time Bank was licensed in 1997 and began operations the same year.

Chris Wesley Takura Tande was the founder of Time Bank.

At that time there was no commercial bank, which was owned by local Zimbabweans.

However, there were merchant banks and discount houses, which were owned by local Zimbabweans.

Time Bank managed to break new ground and established itself on the market.

The bank was very innovative in its business approach. Thereafter a number of commercial banks, which were locally owned, followed suit.

However, in 2004 a number of banks were closed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for one reason or another, some which were hotly contested by the owners.

Upon closure and cancellation of its licence, Time Bank disputed the move and was the first bank to take RBZ to court over its unlawful closure and cancellation of its licence.

It has pursued the matter over the years until the latest breakthrough which marks the dawn of a new era.