HomeBusiness DigestPremier Bank loses US$50K in loan scandal

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PREMIER Banking Corporation (PBC) lost US$50 000 after a loan was granted using unprocedural means.

An internal audit at the financial institution revealed the funds were paid out against an unfunded account number 01203935010202 domiciled at Borrowdale on October 29 2009, yet the account was only funded the next day.
The account belonged to Keltrade Investments, whose managing director Kudakwashe Alfre Musora is a chief dealer for Stanbic Bank.
The facility was supposed to be approved by the credit panel consisting of credit manager, risk manager and the bank’s MD. Instead then finance director Walter Kambwanji (41) and director of Investment banking George Manyere (34) supported the facility.
Kambwanji was this month appointed Chief Finance Officer, while Manyere was appointed head of corporate and investment banking.
According to documents to hand, the branch paid out the funds on the instruction of Manyere and Kambwanji, yet it was said to be “purely an operation matter that was supposed to be handled by credit management and the branch manager”.
Investigations by businessdigest reveal that exchange control approvals were sought through Global Banking to release the funds, but there is no reference number for this transaction for the Reserve Bank to confirm if its funds released were for a legal transaction and were utilised in Zimbabwe.
An internal audit showed that at the time of the application on October 29 last year, Keltrade Investments wanted funds to finance a purported order (order financing), which in normal cases should be handled by business banking department. In the event that the funds applied for by the client were given, the financing bank would make payments direct to the clients’ suppliers, with no cash being handled by the client, but only after confirmation of the orders by the financing bank.
Such payments are made through RTGS. In this case the client accessed the full funds in cash, without the orders being verified with the supplier.
According to the audit the loan facility was supported by executive management at group level and no bank management had approved the same, yet funds were drawn by the client from the Borrowdale branch after business hours on October 29 2009.
“The credit department made an analysis of the inadequate proposal and indicated that part of the material information was outstanding and required perfection before recommendation by the head of business banking. The proposal was sent to Rick who turned it down citing a number of irregularities in the proposal,” reads the audit in part.
Hadded: “Despite that the facility did not meet the standard credit requisites to warrant its approval, there is evidence that the executive director of investment banking (Manyere) insisted that the funds be availed to the clients despite the facility being irregular.”
“There is no evidence that the facility was approved by a relevant credit committee or panel. There was a breach of standard procedures in the availing of facility by the bank.”.
A copy of security in respect of the debtor obtained by businessdigest from the Reserve Bank showed that:
lKeltrade (Pvt) Ltd is a registered company wholly owned by Kudakwashe and Grace Thabiso Musora and is treated as a family business. Its Certificate of Incorporation number is 053420.
lThe company is in the business of commodity broking. It sells anything and everything that a customer needs. However the company’s strength is in selling vehicle lubricants, groceries and stationary. The director indicated interest in selling cleaning detergents to Premier Finance Group when an inquiry was made by the verification team.
lThere were no stocks seen at the operating offices.
lThe director advised that they had a warehouse at number 159 Aspin Close, Waterfalls. The warehouse was reported to be one of the director’s houses which they converted into a warehouse.
lA visit to the place revealed that there is no number 159 along Aspin lane and also that there is no close by the name Aspin.
lThe company does not have a warehouse. The directors advised that they take between three and four days to satisfy an order.
lThe reason for advising that they had a warehouse when they do not have one was not known. Assumptions were made that it could have been a ploy to show that the company was well organised.
lThe company directors own house number 17150 Borrowdale West Harare located at number 3 Rhino Close.
lA visit to the premises revealed that the house exists. It is a well furnished house with properly maintained exterior gardens. It was deemed not necessary to enter into the main house.
“The (Keltrade) company is a fairly new operator on the market given that it is starting to establish its office. Manyere and Kambwanki could not be reached for comment last night.


Paul Nyakazeya

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