THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this week ordered Time Bank to stop repayments to depositors, threatening to unleash the police on the bank’s directors if they continue the exercise.
The directive and threats came soon after Time B
ank started repaying depositors whose money locked in the bank when it was placed under curatorship by the RBZ two years ago.
Sources this week told businessdigest that the RBZ’s Registrar of Banks, Norman Mataruka, wrote to the directors of the bank instructing them to stop the repayments which started at Hellenic Sports Club on Wednesday.
Mataruka demanded that the directors also stop placing advertisements in the media using the name Time Bank because the institution’s licence had been cancelled. The letter, sources said, also warned that the central bank would seek legal intervention if they continued using the name Time Bank.
The letter has set the stage for what might be a protracted legal battle, with revelations yesterday that Time directors had since appealed against the directive and wowed to continue with the repayments as scheduled in public notices to depositors.
The shareholders said the RBZ no longer had the power to make decisions about Time Bank after the purported cancellation of its licence.
Time has since appointed a company called Chadford Investments to make the repayments on its behalf.
“We got the letter but we have appealed against the directive. In the meantime we will continue to repay our depositors as planed,” said one director who requested anonymity.
“It’s a shocking threat. We believe they want to disrupt our repayment plan and then push the institution into liquidation where depositors and creditors will be paid far less than what they deserve.”