Merchants banks offered commercial banking licenses

African Banking Corporation, Genesis Investment Bank and Interfin Merchant Bank which all have been operating as merchant banks now await passing rigourous pre-opening requirements before they start operating as commercial banks.
Changes in the commercial banking sector have been necessitated by a number of changes since the 2003 banking crisis which claimed at least five casualties.

Some of the victims have however resurfaced under the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group.

In a circular, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that three banking had their applications for conversion approved by the Registrar of Banking Institutions.

Tetrad Securities and National Discount House are also expected to start operating as merchant banks after their licenses to offer these services were also approved by the Registrar of Banks.

African Banking Corporation Zimbabwe Limited is the main subsidiary of the Botswana and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed ABC Holdings Limited. It also has operations in Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia. It is one of the few financial institutions that emerged unscathed after the 2003 banking crisis.

It also expected that ABCH will from July this year expand its branch network though the financial institution is adopting a very cautious approach.

A total of 20 new branches are expected under the ABCH expansion programme.

Interfin Merchant Bank was granted its operating license in October 1999 and started operations inJanuary 2000. It is a subsidiary of Interfin Holdings Limited, which also consists of Altfin Insurance Company, Interfin Securities, Interfin Properties and Interfin Capital.

Genesis Investment Bank Limited is the banking subsidiary of Zimre Holdings Limited and it is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

NDH Bank Limited started operations as a discount house and is a member of NDH Holdings Limited,which was incorporated in 1995. The Group also includes NDH Equities and Ludham Investments.