Econet Wireless Zimbabwe launches Steward Bank

Harare Zimbabwe Martin AddisonBranches of Steward Bank will soon become a common site in Zimbabwe capital Harare. (Image source: Martin Addison)Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has a launched a new bank following its acquisition of TN Bank in January 2013, according to TN Bank CEO Kwanele Ngwenya

"Pursuant to obtaining regulatory approvals, TN Bank has changed its name to Steward Bank. The name change is the first step of the rebranding journey," Ngwenya said.

It is understood that in July 2012, Econet Wireless acquired a 45 per cent stake in TN Bank.

The company has now completed the acquisition of the remaining 55 per cent and it is reported that it has a commitment towards building a strong bank in Zimbabwe.

"Our primary goal is to build a financial institution that can restore confidence to all stakeholders. This is in recognition of the difficulties that the Zimbabwean banking sector has faced over the years," remarked Ngwenya.

The company has also reportedly hired financial experts with experience from the local market and other different markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and the UK.

According to Ngwenya, in the past year, Steward Bank has exceeded the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's (RBZ) minimum capital requirements ahead of time.

The bank's capital base is reported to now sit in excess of US$75mn, ranking it among the country's top five banks in terms of capitalisation.

Ngwenya said that over the next few months, his company would strengthen its position in the market by launching new and innovative products.

"Our ambition is to increase the banking and payment ecosystem to every Zimbabwean. Our aim is not to create just another bank, but to create a new banking habit and behaviour," said Ngwenya.

Wallace Mawire

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