Bank numbers to fall as RBZ measures take effect

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE number of commercial banks is set to drop as part of six banks who were recently booted out of the central banks clearing house, including some that survived the chop, are set to merg

e in light of both liquidity problems and capitalisation requirements.



Currently there are 17 commercial banks, but their survival has also been put on a life support system, as they would be required to part with $10 billion as part of new capitalisation requirements.


RBZ boss Gideon Gono has since met with all chief executive officers from the commercial banks where he indicated to them that in light of the liquidity crisis some of the institutions should merge.


Sources who attended the meeting said the governor stated that unless the financial institutions that were in distress consolidate their positions they should merge.


The sources said that although Gono made reference for the institutions to merge he however did not clarify if they should form one block of a bank.


The six banks that were kicked out of the clearing system were Time Bank, Agribank, Barbican Bank, Century Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Bank.


One of the banks which survived from being booted out of the clearing list has also been instructed to merge.


The central bank had not responded to questions sent to them on Monday.

The Reserve Bank has also given directives to the concerned banks that they should also restructure their management teams and in the process submit their strategies of survival.


Last month the central bank directed that all commercial banks should pay $10 billion as part of the new capitalisation requirements.


In his Monetary Policy Statement last month the central bank governor announced that any bail out to any distressed institution would attract penal rates which would also be accompanied by other things such as management restructuring.


The changes could also result in changes in the boardroom team.