Trust Bank, one of the biggest and most successful banks in the country before it was forced to close down by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in 2004, is set to bounce back as the central bank has agreed to reinstate their licence.

Trust Bank was closed down by Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono together with Barbican Bank, Time Bank and Royal Bank and were accused of mismanaging depositors’ funds by diverting from core business.

As a result, reasoned Gono, the banks were left with huge exposures and he decided to put them under curatorship although the owners of the banks argued that the RBZ governor was targeting them for personal reasons.

Three of the banks – Trust, Barbican and Royal Bank’s – assets were taken by the RBZ to form one huge institution, the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Corporation (ZABG) which itself has run into serious problems and has liabilities of over US$15million.

The original owners of the banks went to court and the Supreme Court ruled that their assets must be retained leaving ZABG in a limbo and facing collapse. They have since refused to take over ZABG because of the huge liabilities incurred by the bank.

A Trust Bank shareholder revealed that after discussions with RBZ officials last week, they had been assured that their licence will be ready this week.

“We are back in business and should be able to revive our operations in the next few months. We should be getting our licence from RBZ this week after meetings with central bank officials. There was no way we could take over ZABG because it’s a collapsed institution.

“All those liabilities will be taken care of by RBZ through some arrangement, which will not have anything to do with us. What we are getting is whatever is remaining of all our assets.

“The current ZABG staff will be the responsibility of RBZ or ZABG (which is being allowed to remain as a going concern but minus our assets, largely the branches with all the fixtures, fittings and equipment). We will pick and choose whoever we want,” said the shareholder.

ZABG is now is a worse situation that it was when the three closed banks were amalgamated in 2004.

(Source)