Banks struggle with systems

BANKS were this week still battling to reconfigure their systems to switch to the redenominated currency, with revelations only one institution had managed to change its system ahead of the August 21 deadline for the phasing out of the old bearer cheques.

Other banks this

week said they were ready to readjust their banking and accounting systems to comply with a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) order to switch to the redenominated currency.

However, some banks were still waiting for their foreign consultants to arrive in the country to work on their systems.  Sources said two foreign IT consultants had arrived in the country to work on their systems. The source said so far officials for FlexiCube, an Indian firm, and Equation 3, of the United Kingdom, had arrived in the country this week.

The Equation 3 system is used by ReNaissance and CFX Financial Services while FlexiCube is used by FBC and CBZ Bank.  There are fears that  large banks might be the most affected because of the large amounts of data.
Sources indicated however that while banking sector players were downplaying the looming crisis, the situation had become so desperate that principals of one of the two British-owned banks had to summon its executive to London for a briefing.

Last week, businessdigest reported that foreign consultants for banking software used at some banks had indicated that they would require at least five weeks to reconfigure the systems.

CFX Financial Services had by this week managed to reconfigure its banking and accounting systems to accommodate the new currency.  Barclays, one of the biggest banks, said it was ready to switch to the new system but indicated they were waiting for a conversion date to be agreed by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, a grouping of bankers.

“Barclays is ready to convert to the new system and is waiting for the conversion date,” a Barclays spokesperson said yesterday. — Staff Writer.