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RBZ lifts ZBFH corrective order

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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe  (RBZ) has lifted the corrective order issued to ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) seven years ago following a satisfactory review, Business Times can report.

In 2017, the central bank raised the red flag over issues around poor governance and ordered the ZBFHL to embrace good practice. The RBZ was also not happy with issues of processes, internal controls, issues around risk management and shareholding.

ZB last year made submissions to the RBZ after fixing the problems for review.

ZBFH board chairperson, Pamela Chiromo, said the corrective order has been lifted.

“The group dealt with all governance issues which were the subject of a Corrective Order issued by the RBZ on 7 March, 2017 and reviewed in March 2018, and the Corrective order was lifted on December 9, 2022, after a satisfactory review by the regulator,” Chiromo said.

In its financial results for the year to December 2022, ZBFH reported a 75% increase in total income to ZWL$70.542bn from ZWL$40.343bn reported in 2021.

Net interest income increased by 77% to ZW$20.050bn in 2022 from ZW$11.359bn in 2021, underpinned by the growth in the loans and advances book.

Income from commissions and fees went up 38% to ZWL$15.91bn in the reviewed period from ZWL$11.570bn in 2021.

The improvement in commissions was supported by growth in both number of customers and volume of transactions as a result of the group’s organisational transformation Programme journey.

Other operating income improved by 394% from ZWL$4.500bn in 2021 to ZWL$22.237bn.

Other income largely constituted by the realised foreign exchange gains from treasury trading activities and unrealised gains from revaluation of the group’s foreign denominated balances.

Net profit for the group surged 391% to ZWL$34.72bn in the reviewed period from ZWL$7.074bn achieved in 2021 on the back of a significant rise in trading income and fair value credits.

Gross loan impairment charges to the income statement surged by 229% to ZW$7.035bn in 2022 from ZW$2.136bn in 2021.

Net insurance-related earnings increased to ZWL$3.889bn in 2022 from ZWL$2.854bn in 2021, on the back of a 120% rise in gross premiums.

Insurance related expenses increased by 181% to ZWL$11.125bn in 2022.

However, operating costs rose to ZWL$40.708bn in 2022 from ZWL$27.925bn in 2021, largely on account of the effects of inflation.

Total assets for the group stood at ZWL$321bn from ZWL$174bn reported in 2021.

In the outlook, Chiromo said the group would focus on revenue growth and cost optimisation strategies with an overall aim of growing and strengthening the balance sheet position. The group will continue with its Organisational Transformation Programme focusing more on improving the effectiveness and efficiencies of back-end systems, she said.

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