General Financial Sector Information
This is a quick source of reference for information on several aspects of the banking sector. You are unlikely to find this sort of information anywhere else.
Bank Name Changes
Name changes of banks in Zimbabwe are usually on account of two reasons: first, to reflect the name of new owners following an acquisition, or simply to rebrand and refresh the name in order to make a clean break with the past because sometimes names evoke bad memories and must be changed. Over the years several banks have changed names, a process that must comply with Section 22 (6) of the Banking Act [Chapter 24:20] which says “Whenever a banking institution has altered its name with the Registrar’s consent in terms of subsection (1), the Registrar shall cause notice of the alteration to be published, at the institution’s expense, in the Gazette and in one or more issues of a newspaper circulating in the area in which the institution carries on its banking business.”
- January 2014: Kingdom Bank Limited to AfrAsia Bank Limited
In January 2014, Kingdom Bank Limited changed its name to AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited following acquisition by Mauritius-based AfrAsia Holdings Limited.
- June 2013: TN Bank Limited to Steward Bank Limited
Econet Wireless first acquired a 45% equity stake in TN Bank in July 2012 after injecting US$20 million and subsequently made an offer to shareholders in January 2013 that saw the mobile network operator shoring up its shareholding to a 98,6% controlling stake in the bank. At that stage, a name change was imminent. Unsurprisingly, at the end of June 2013, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe duly announced, in terms of Section 22 (6) of the Banking Act [Chapter 24:20] that TN Bank Limited had changed its name to Steward Bank Limited.
On 3 July 2013, Econet Wireless officially rebranded TN Bank to Steward Bank. Speaking at the official launch, newly appointed bank chief executive officer Kwanele Ngwenya said the name change was the first step of the rebranding journey and the name Steward was chosen because it reflected the bank’s values and commitment to its customers. “A steward denotes a custodian who grows and protects customers, resources, hence our promise, `your money, our commitment,’ “he said. He said the bank’s main colour – purple – represented wealth, wisdom, dignity, royalty, independence, creativity and trustworthiness.
- February 2013: ZABG Bank Limited to Allied Bank Limited
Following the collapse of the merger of three troubled banks – Trust Bank Corporation, Royal Bank Zimbabwe Limited and Barbican Bank Limited – in 2010, ZABG Bank continued to face challenges linked to capitalisation. A new anchor shareholder who could inject capital was sorely needed, and along came Trebo & Khays an Investment vehicle of the then Mines and Mining Development. Legacy issues and the restructuring of the bank’s shareholding was fertile ground for a name change. So in February 2013, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe authorised the ZABG Bank Limited to change its name to Allied Bank Limited.
“We realised that the current ZABG brand could not carry us and we have now gone out of our way to position ourselves to respond to the market expectations. The bank is now in a stronger position than before to negotiate more meaningful deals,” said chairman and lawyer Farai Mutamangira.
- July 2012: ReNaissance Merchant Bank Limited to Capital Bank Corporation Limited
The conversion of the National Social Security Authority’s debt owed by ReNaissance Merchant Bank Limited into equity, allowed NSSA to effectively acquire a majority stake of 84% in the merchant bank previously owned by ReNaissance Financial Holdings Limited. Post this development, it was expected that the bank would change its name and this duly came about in July 2012 when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that “ReNaissance Merchant Bank Limited has changed its name to Capital Bank Corporation Limited and shall be known as such henceforth.”
- May 2012: Metropolitan Bank Zimbabwe Limited to Metbank Limited.
In May 2012, Metropolitan Bank Zimbabwe Limited changed its name to Metbank Limited, a move that was said to be in sync with the bank’s revival at the time. The move also appeared to have been intended to shorten the name, one of the longest at the time. The name change was confirmed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in June 2012.
- May 2011: Premier Banking Corporation Limited to Ecobank Zimbabwe Limited
Following acquisition of Premier Banking Corporations Limited by Pan-African Banking Group, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the bank started trading as Ecobank Zimbabwe Limited, with effect from 1st May, 2011.
Corporate Wear Launch
Staff uniforms are considered an important part of a financial institution’s brand. They serve many purposes, chief amongst which is providing uniformity amongst staff who all have different standards when it comes to dress sense. Uniforms are also a way of providing an identity, and are very useful at events where employees from many banks congregate, such as sports events. Uniforms also help to raise employees’ self-esteem, especially when they are well-designed and tailored in line with the latest fashion trends, as is the case with most contemporary uniforms. They are also thought to instill a sense of loyalty and discipline as no employee would want to be seen doing unseemly things while dressed in the company uniform. Uniforms are also one way of showcasing the bank’s corporate colours. Uniforms can be introduced at group level, fostering staff unity across all operating subsidiaries. In the past uniforms were largely for womenfolk, particularly those in front-office positions. To signify the increasing importance of ensuring that staff are properly dressed, nowadays, the menfolk are also not left out and can often be seen adorned in designer clothes which one would be surprised to discover are actually a uniform.
- POSB : February 2015
A Symbol of Possibilities: POSB introduced its new look in February 2015, saying it was “a testimony of our team spirit” and “the high standards of the POSB brand.” Accordingly, the country’s sole savings bank said the uniform should not be worn just as one would wear other ordinary pieces of clothing. “We wear the uniform of excellence with pride,” said the bank. In his report accompanying the audited results for the year 2014, CEO Admore Kandlela saw it fit to mention something about the new look. “The bank successfully launched a new corporate wear in February 2015. The new uniform enhances a good corporate image by reflecting the Bank’s standards and confidence amongst staff members that will take the Bank to a higher level,” he said.
- CABS : December 2014
- CBZ Holdings : November 2014
Dressed for Success and Service! In November 2014, CBZ Holdings said it was introducing a “fresh new look” for its employees, “to go with our diversified service offering and excellent customer care.” Clearly, the bank sees staff uniforms as a complimentary accompaniment to its service offering, which is necessary to achieve excellent customer care.
- MBCA Bank Limited : September 2014
New Uniform, Better Service Delivery: In September 2014, MBCA Bank introduced new staff uniforms. The bank saw this occasion not just as one to dress staff properly, but to ensure better service delivery. “At MBCA Bank, customer service is at the heart of all we do and exceeding customer expectations is an imperative to us. We are introducing a fresh new look for our staff and the look says that we take PRIDE in delivering customer service. That means we are Personally Responsible In Delivering Excellence. Our team is professional, quick, courteous and highly knowledgeable of our products and services. Our team lives by five core values which are Respect, Accountability, Pushing beyond boundaries, Integrity and Being people-centred,” said the Zimbabwean franchise of the Nedbank Group.
- Agribank : April 2014
- FBC Holdings Limited : January 2013
New Look Sets the Standard: Uniforms can also be a way of setting standards not only in terms of corporate outlook but performance. In January 2013, FBC Holdings unveiled new uniforms for all its subsidiaries, boldly declaring that “Our new look sets the standard.”
- Barclays Bank: November 2012
New look for new century: The bank sees its longevity in Zimbabwe as partly anchored in the strength of its brand, a part of which is reflected by the uniforms of its staff. So when the bank launched uniforms for its staff in November 2012, it saw it fit to dub them “A new look for a new century.”
Rebranding of Financial Institutions
In an ever-changing, competitive environment in which financial institutions have to constantly vie for the attention of clued-up and tech-savvy consumers, rebranding or refreshing one’s public image or brand is no longer a luxury. Instead it becomes a strategic imperative without which brands eventually get tired and give up the ghost of popular appeal, leading to loss of market share. Here are some rebranding initiatives rolled out by financial institutions in recent years.
Zimnat: March 2017
Zimnat, which has interests in insurance, life assurance, asset management and microfinance officially rebranded all its subsidiaries to reflect its partnership with pan-African shareholder, Sanlam Group, which in 2015 acquired a 40% stake in Zimnat at a value of $11, 6 million through its subsidiary Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM). Speaking on the sidelines of the official launch of the new brand on 29 March 2017 in Harare, Zimnat group CEO Mustafa Sachak said that Sanlam would give assurance to clients of their capabilities. “If you look at it, it is a new fresh look that signifies a partnership with Sanlam. We want to be in the top two and that is also Sanlam’s position that wherever they go they want to be the dominant company or in the top three. Zimnat is associated with one of the largest groups, so when they (Zimnat clients) want to insure their life or want their money looked after by an asset management firm they know we will be safe,” he said. For its clients, Zimnat said the partnership meant “products of international standards, excellent technical support, superior customer experience, security and peace of mind.”
Ecobank Asset Management Company (Private) Limited: February 2017
Akribos Wealth Managers issued a notice to the public advising of its change of name. “Members of the investing public are hereby advised that following regulatory approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe of the transfer of Ecobank Asset Management Company (Private) Limited to Akribos Capital Incorporated (Private) Limited, we are rebranding and changing our name from Ecobank Asset Management Company (Private) Limited to Akribos Wealth Managers (Private) Limited,” said the company in the notice published on 9 February 2017.
Collarhedge Finance (Private) Limited: January 2017
Pursuant to its licensing by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as a deposit-taking microfinance institution – authorising the institution to conduct deposit-taking microfinance business in terms of the Microfinance Act [Chapter 24:29] and offer a broad range of financial services – Collarhedge Finance (Private) Limited changed its name to Success Microfinance Bank Limited and also changed its logo.
MicroKing Finance (Pvt) Ltd: January 2017
Microcred Zimbabwe, formerly MicroKing Finance (Pvt) Limited, was officially rebranded on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 at an event at which Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa was the guest of honour. This followed a 70% and 30% shareholding acquisition by Microcred SAS and AfricInvest Financial Sector Limited respectively, concluded on May 23, 2016. Microcred SAS Africa chief executive officer, Ruben Dieudonne said the group saw an opportunity in Zimbabwe and acquired shares. “We saw the market opportunity and took it. Every country in Africa has challenges and Zimbabwe does as well. But the market potential here is high when we see market potential against the competitors, I am confident of that potential,” he said.
CABS: July 2016
“It gives us great pleasure to present to you our new identity. Our new logo is a sign of our dedication to progress and adapting to the changing times. It’s a pledge to maintain our record as a solid and vibrant Zimbabwean financial institution. Our new pay-off line is: We’ll help you get there, and that’s a promise. The colour blue symbolizes the bank’s trustworthiness, professionalism and commitment to all our stakeholders. The green symbolizes growth and carries with it a promise of financial strength and positive future. The icon represents financial movement and activity. The flexibility of a progressive bank with innovative ideas that seek to meet our client’s financial needs. The boldness of the font depicts presence, confidence and our heritage,” said the bank.
Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe: March 2016
The symbol of our unwavering promise to support you yesterday, today and always. We present our new logo; The Sign of renewed dedication to providing unique and innovative products and services that respond to our customers represent and future needs. It is a promise to our stakeholders to pursue excellence in everything we do and an assurance of compassion to all clients that we will do all in our power to deliver on our promises. Our values of Fidelity, Innovation, Teamwork, Empathy and Recognition are now stronger than ever and our scales continue to represent fairness, integrity and transparency; all principles we hold dear at Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe. Our colours of burgundy and white represent good harvests, stability, youth and precision; all attributes which make us the preferred Financial Services provides for millions of Zimbabweans.
BancABC: August 2015
In terms of Section 22 (6) of the Banking Act [Chapter 24:20] the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe approved the amendment of ABC Holdings Limited logo from ‘BancABC’ to ‘BancABC part of atlasmara’ with effect from 26th August, 2015. This change of logo followed the acquisition of a significant interest by Atlas Mara in BancABC in July 2014 and the need to reflect that change in ownership.
RM Insurance Company/Old Mutual Zimbabwe: July 2014
Old Mutual Zimbabwe’s short-term insurance unit, RM Insurance Company rebranded and changed its name to Old Mutual Insurance Company (Private Limited), a process described by Old Mutual group chief executive officer, Jonas Mushosho as a response to the listed group’s customer needs.“The decision to rebrand was backed by feedback from customers who found it easy to associate RM Insurance with the main Old Mutual brand. It also made business sense for us to rebrand our short-term insurance business because this would affirm Old Mutual’s position as Zimbabwe’s leading integrated financial services group,” Mushosho said in a press statement released on Thursday, 31st July 2014 at the official launch of the rebranded outfit.
Bank Pay-Off Lines
A pay-off line or tag-line is a clarifier – an institutional positioning line – that captures the essence of the brand. It expresses the brand’s meaning in a way that is easy to recognise and remember. A great tag-line should become a powerful rallying call within an organisation as it talks to the very ethos of the company. A pay-off line at its best is the very core of the brand’s proposition, the company’s essence and the consumer promise. It’s the enduring truth about the company. Below are the pay-off lines of Zimbabwean banks.
|Company Name||Current Pay-off line||Previous Pay-off line|
|Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe/Agribank||Your all weather bank||The Power Behind Agriculture (up to May 2011)|
|BancABC part of Atlas Mara||Reshaping African banking. Reshaping Africa.||Fresh Thinking. Smart Banking|
|CBZ Bank Limited||Partners For Success|
|CABS||We Will Help You Get There||We want to do things better. Do You?|
|Ecobank Zimbabwe Limited||The Pan African Bank||Choose the difference (as Premier Banking Corp Ltd)|
|FBC Bank Limited||strength·diversity·service|
|Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ)||National Growth and Transformation Enablers||National Growth Builders, National Growth Enablers|
|MBCA Bank Limited||Pride in Performance|
|NMB Bank Limited||In Pursuit of Excellence||Your Business Bank|
|People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB)||Simply Possible||The People’s Bank : Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow|
|Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe||Moving Forward||Inspired. Motivated. Involved.|
|Standard Chartered Bank||Here for good|
|Steward Bank (formerly as TN Bank Limited)||Your Money Our Commitment||Keeping your confidence (as TN Bank)|
|Tetrad Investment Bank||A reputation for prudence and profitability|
|ZB Bank||What You Need To Succeed.||Investing in Potential|
Bank USSD Codes
Mobile banking has become an integral part of our lives, enabling us to pay bills, transfer money, purchase airtime and carry out a host of other transactions. There are several offerings on the market, each of which is accessible through a unique code called a USSD Code. USSD stands for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service providers’ servers. There are basically two key things one has to understand about the USSD protocol. First, when one dials a number that starts with * (star) and ends with # (hash), they are using USSD. Second, USSD is currently the best available communications technology to deliver mobile financial services to low-income customers who typically use feature phones. Below are the USSD codes of Zimbabwean banks and mobile banking platforms as well their branded product offerings, where available:
|Agribank||Agribank Mobile Banking||*277#|
|Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe||*229#|
|CBZ Bank Limited||CBZ Touch||*230#|
|FBC Bank Limited||Mobile Moola||*220#|
|MBCA Bank Limited||MBCA Mobile||*299#|
|NMB Bank Limited||NMB Mobile||*240#|
|POSB||POSB Cellbank||*223# (Econet)
*222# (Telecel, NetOne)
|Stanbic Bank||Stanbic Blue 247||*247#|
|Standard Chartered Bank||Stanchart Mobile Banking||*200#|
|ZB Bank||ZB Pauri Card||*400*600#|
|TeleCare Mobile Insurance||*808#|