TIME Bank, which abandoned disbursement of depositors’ funds following threats from the central bank, has appointed Chadford Investments as its agen
t for the stalled disbursements understood to have resumed last week.
The Reserve Bank had Time Bank’s principal shareholders stop the payments, saying it was no longer a banking institution after the former cancelled its banking licence in August.
In a statement bearing the Time Bank logo captioned “Time Will Tell”, Chadford Investments’ board of directors announced that Chadford had taken over the disbursements after being appointed agents.
All payments to former Time Bank depositors would be in the form of cheques, the Chadford board said.
Chadford said depositors would be paid full account balance as at October 27, 2004, (the date the bank was placed under liquidation by the Reserve Bank).
“Any balances that remain unclaimed after this exercise will be transferred to the Master of High Court with full customer details. Public notices would be made as the account balances are transferred,” said Chadford directors.
In Harare payments would be made at the Hellenic Club, while in Bulawayo they would be made at the Bulawayo Club.
In Mutare depositors would receive their cheques at the Hellenic Club.
In August, the Reserve Bank revoked the bank’s licence after determining that there was no evidence the bank’s shareholders could raise enough capital to meet new capital levels for commercial banks.
The principal shareholders have since denied this, saying they are well placed to recapitalise the financial institution.
The central bank also ordered the suspension of all payments to depositors and creditors.
Time Bank was also banned from making use of its trade name.
The Reserve Bank said: “Time Bank can no longer lawfully conduct any banking business, as this and any such action is an offence which attracts the highest level of monetary penalty and custodial sentence in terms of the Banking Act.”
Time Bank shareholders however said the Reserve Bank’s order was of no “force or effect” as the bank “had depositors and creditors at heart” and these would be paid under whatever circumstances.
It also said the Reserve Bank’s order was badly timed and legally irresponsible, given that it was effected when payments had already started.
“The directive by the RBZ is coming at a critical time when the principal (Time Bank) had commenced the process of paying its depositors and was in the process of communicating details of this payment programme,” the bank said in a statement.