BANCABC Zimbabwe boss Joe Sibanda says his bank will slow down on branch network expansion in the near term and look at agency banking instead.
He told businessdigest on Wednesday in the capital his bank was always scanning the market and would respond to the environment accordingly. This comes after BancABC announced it was closing two of its branches in Graniteside and Longcheng.
Sibanda says the group decided to merge two of its branches to create efficiencies and improve customer service experience.
“Essentially, what is happening is we are merging two branches. At Leopold Takawira, we are setting up BancEasy, a microfinance subsidiary,” he said. Going forward, Sibanda said BancABC was looking at agency banking with partners in the retail sector.
“The agency route is the best,” he said.
He, however, said he could still set up a branch or two depending on the economic fundamentals.
Since taking over as MD, Sibanda has closed Hot Springs and Redcliff branches.
“We can still go back to Redcliff if what government is planning goes through. If Redcliff goes back to what it used to be, then we could go back there,” he said. “Our strategy hasn’t changed at all.”
Sibanda said staff from the merged branches has been integrated into other branches. “No one has lost a job,” he said.
“If anything, this has been a plus in terms of customer service. We have added staff at our Southerton branch to best serve our customers.”
Sibanda added that he believed growth would be underpinned by technology and innovation. Zimbabwe has 23 branches.
African Banking Corporation the parent company of BancABC was acquired by Atlas Mara, an investment group founded by former Barclays boss Bob Diamond.