Zimbabwe’s first locally owned commercial bank, Time Bank Zimbabwe Limited has acquired authorization from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to conduct limited banking activities after a pre-opening inspection by the regulator.
According to the RBZ, Time Bank will however not be allowed to take deposits from the public at this stage.
“It is hereby notified that Time Bank of Zimbabwe Limited has been authorized to conduct limited banking activities in terms of the Banking Act (Chapter 24;20) following a pre-opening inspection of the institution’s readiness to commence banking business,” said RBZ.
“Having regard to the institution’s risk management structures and processes, level of capitalization, corporation governance arrangements, its business plan and the Banking Act, Time Bank has been authorized to conduct limited banking activities and shall not be taking deposits from the public.”
Time Bank was licensed in 1997 and began operations the same year. Mr Chris Wesley Takura Tande was the founder of Time Bank.
By the turn of the new millennium, a number of indigenous banks has emerged but due to the economic turmoil which created a financial crisis at the time, at a lot of them faced closure.
By 2004 Time Bank was also closed under highly contested circumstances and had its banking licence cancelled.
There was a period of protracted legal battles between the bank and RBZ as legal battles went on for years. Subsequently, it turned out that Time Bank had been unlawfully closed and also that its licence had been cancelled unlawfully by the central bank.
Years later RBZ and Time Bank negotiated and entered into a settlement agreement under which the RBZ agreed to refund the US$5 million, which it had taken unlawfully from Time Bank before closing the bank.
RBZ then issued a notice to the public advising that Time Bank and RBZ had resolved all their legal disputes and that Time Bank can now operate.