Following its acquisition by FMB Capital of Malawi, Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, says it is investing around $10 million in respect of the migration of its digital systems.
Last year, FMB Capital acquired a 43 percent shareholding in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed bank. Outgoing chairman Anthony Mandiwanza told shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting yesterday that a decision by the financial services provider to put a hold on dividend payouts was necessitated by the need to upgrade its systems.
“This business is going through a transition period, especially an IT migration programme and that programme will require approximately $10 million to fully implement. The platform that we were using belongs to Barclays Plc and the group has now left Zimbabwe.”
He added that the other factor that had led to the decision to temporarily stop dividend payouts was the move by Barclays Plc (the existing shareholder) to ‘‘donate’’ 15 percent equity to Barclays Bank Zimbabwe’s employees.
The 15 percent are voting shares.
Meanwhile, Barclays Bank Zimbabwe will re-brand to Barclays & FMB in October as Barclays Plc still retains a residual interest which it will shed off over the next two to three years in a phased exit.
Managing director Samuel Matsekete (who took over from George Guvamatanga at the end of last year) told shareholders that the FMB brand is expected to be fully introduced over the next two years.
“We are currently using the name ‘‘Barclays’’, and it will be with us until October this year.
“From October the bank will be known under a dual branding, which will combine the new name with ‘‘Barclays’’.
“We will run with that dual branding for the next two years until October 2020,” said Mr Matsekete.
Earlier in February, Barclays Plc stopped offering correspondent banking services to the Zimbabwean operation. Barclays Bank Zimbabwe then moved to announce that financial entities in Zambia, Malawi and Botswana would facilitate its international transactions.
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe’s transactions in the Botswana Pula are now processed through Capital Bank Botswana, Canadian dollar transactions through Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Japanese Yen deal will go through Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Kenyan Shillings through Prime Bank Ltd Kenya, Euros, pounds and United States dollar through Crown Agents Bank, London, while South African rand transactions would be routed through First Rand Bank Ltd and ABSA.