The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has placed Interfin Bank Limited under recuperative curatorship, while Genesis Investment Bank voluntarily surrendered its banking licence to the monetary authorities on Monday.
The central bank placed Interfin Bank Limited under the curatorship of Mr Peter Bailey of KPMG Chartered Accountants after determining that it was not in a safe and sound financial condition. RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono yesterday said: “Board of Directors of Genesis Investment Bank met and resolved to voluntarily surrender the institution’s banking licence in line with section 14 (4) of the Banking Act [Chapter 24:20].
“This follows failure by the institution to raise the requisite minimum capital from over twenty (20) different potential inventors whom the bank tried to engage since 2009. The bank’s Board of Directors has failed to steer the institution out of numerous deficiencies including gross undercapitalisation [-$3,20 million]; persistent losses; poor asset quality; paltry deposit base; and chronic liquidity challenges.
“As such, there is no prudential basis for the continued existence of the bank. Accordingly, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has closed Genesis Investment Bank and commenced proceedings for the liquidation of the institution,” said Dr Gono. On the other hand, Interfin Bank was placed under recuperative curatorship for a period of six months. Dr Gono said the direction was served in accordance with provisions of the Banking Act, [Chapter 24:20].
“The Reserve Bank took this action upon determining that Interfin Bank Limited is not in a safe and sound financial condition. In particular, the unsafe and unsound condition of Interfin Bank Limited is attributable to inadequate capitalisation, concentrated shareholding and abuse of corporate structures, high level of non-performing insider and related party exposures, chronic liquidity and income generation challenges, poor board and senior management oversight, as well as violation of banking laws and regulations,” he said.
Dr Gono said the primary purpose of the curatorship is to protect depositors, preserve the assets of Interfin Bank Limited and protect the stability of the financial system. One of the consequences of placing Interfin Bank Limited under the management of a curator, he said, was that the institution’s legal proceedings and the execution of writs, warrants, summons, is now stayed unless the High Court otherwise grants leave.
“Another consequence is to suspend the powers of every director, officer and shareholder of Interfin Bank Limited, except to the extent that the curator may permit them to exercise such powers. The curator will takeover and assume the management of Interfin Bank Limited in such a manner as he considers prudent and most likely to promote the interests of the institution, its depositors and creditors.”
Dr Gono implored the public to be patient to allow for a smooth handover-takeover in terms of the due process. He said the handover-takeover process entailed securing the bank’s assets and records, ascertaining the exact balances of the institution’s assets and liabilities, drawing the institution’s statement of affairs at the beginning of the curatorship period, facilitate effective control over the bank’s ICT infrastructure and ensuring availability of adequate back-up and business continuity arrangements.
The curator will recommend to the Reserve Bank how the financial situation of Interfin Bank Limited should be resolved. Interfin Bank was facing liquidity challenges and was being sued by several clients seeking to recover U$30 million in deposit funds. Genesis was one of the few banks which did not succeed in courting credible investors to meet minimum capital requirements set by RBZ.