AfrAsia shuts Vic Falls branch

AfrAsia shuts Vic Falls branch
Published: 24 July 2014
AfrAsia Bank has announced the closure of its Victoria Falls branch as part of the group's efforts to streamline operations.

The branch will cease operations on July 31 and all accounts will be transferred to Bulawayo.

"This serves to advise that with effect from July 31 close of business Victoria Falls branch will be closing. This has been necessitated by the need to consolidate our operations," reads part of the notice placed on the door.

"All accounts currently maintained at Victoria Falls branch will be transferred to Bambanani Centre in Bulawayo and our teams will be there to serve you. You will be able to transact in any of our AfrAsia Bank branches nationally, Zimswitch network and over internet banking system which you can now register onto for activation."

Most of the bank's clients in the resort town were workers from the Victoria Falls Municipality.

AfrAsia public relations and communications officer Sekai Chitemerere said the development was part of a streamlining exercise.

"AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Limited has an ongoing exercise to extensively review its business and structure in response to the economic and operating environment," she said.

"This has necessitated that the group streamlines its operations to improve operational and business efficiency, and to ensure that it is positioned to capitalise on existing and emerging growth opportunities in the financial services sector and the economy in general. The group is consolidating its operations, reviewing its cost structure and product portfolio among other initiatives."

Chitemerere said the bank was not yet sure how many branches would be closed.

"All our stakeholders including affected clients have been notified in advance of this decision and also given an option to have their accounts transferred to their preferred branch. In addition, clients can transact on Zimswitch ATMs, Point of Sale (POS) devices and the bank's new internet banking platform which they can now register onto for immediate activation," said Chitemerere.

An official with Mfelandawonye housing association, Vhangani Ndou they were recently advised that their accounts would be transferred to Bulawayo.

A Victoria Falls council official told Business Chronicle that most of the employees got paid through the bank and they were not yet sure how their salaries would be handled.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe first quarter banking sector report, the sector remained generally stable in spite of the challenging operating environment which was characterised by transitory deposits, limited inter-bank trading, general market illiquidity and limited lender of last resort function.

The central bank said the prevailing macro-economic environment translated into low capitalisation of banking institutions, high cost of funding; limited credit creation, liquidity constraints and rising non-performing loans.

Credit risk remained one of the most significant challenges facing the banking sector.
- Leonard Ncube I chronicle
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