ZB regains foreign accounts after removal from US sanctions

ZB Financial Holdings has regained use of most of its foreign correspondent banking accounts since its removal from the US sanctions list in October last year, a senior bank official said.

The US Treasury, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had imposed restrictions on the bank as part of a wider sanctions campaign against Zimbabwe. Under the sanctions ZB experienced serious problems in obtaining offshore financing or credit guarantees.

ZB chief executive officer Ron Mutandagayi told the group’s shareholders at an annual general meeting that re-engagement with foreign partners had been pursued since October.

“To date, the group has been able to resuscitate its euro, British pound, South African rand and US dollar correspondent banking accounts. A number of payments have already been effected using all accounts in question,” he said.

“A diaspora business strategy has been prepared and will be rolled out in the near future targeting markets in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.”

Meanwhile, ZB recorded a profit before tax of $6,88 million in the period up to April 30, 2017. The group’s total assets amounted to $406 million, a seven percent reduction from $439 million reported as at December, 31, 2016.

“This is attributed to the 15 percent reduction in deposits from $275.3 million as at December 31, 2016 to $234.3 million as at 30 April, 2017, largely as a result of the reduction in wholesale funding,” he said.

Consequently Mr Mutandagayi said cash resources diminished by 31 percent from $82,2 million to $56,9 million.

Loans and advances stood at $92.9 million while those recovered through the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company totaled $2.3 million for the period up to April 30.

“This brings the group’s recoveries from ZAMCO since its inception to a total of $22.7 million,” he said.

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