MERCHANT Bank of Central Africa Ltd (MBCA) which was granted a commercial banking licence last year is set to roll out its commercial bank division during the second quarter of this year.
The group is currently on the hunt for experienced personnel to kick-start their operations in the retail-banking sector.
The financial services company plans to open two branches in Harare and Bulawayo during the initial phase of the operations.
The premises for the commercial banking halls have already been identified.
The new venture will target the corporate sector and is likely to have no more than six branches countrywide.
Sources in the company say there are plans to take advantage of the clients that were dealing with the merchant bank division.
The board of the holding company, MBCA Holdings, has already agreed to the decision to roll out the commercial bank.
Newly-appointed managing director Denys Denya said it would be premature to comment on future operations without approval from the board of directors.
However, sources confirmed that the firm was on the verge of moving into the commercial banking sector.
“Two branches are going to open. The team for the project is being assembled,” said a source in the merchant bank.
Denya also could not comment on market speculation that they were talking to another financial services company over a possible takeover deal.
The project comes hard on the heels of a financial sector that is facing collapse owing to imprudent banking practices.
MBCA has also concluded the restructuring exercise begun late last year.
In the results for the 12 months to December 31 released this week the interest income for the group increased to $20 billion, up from $2,3 billion last year.
Net interest income increased to $11,8 billion compared to $1,4 billion achieved during the comparative period last year.
Earnings per share increased to $4,201, up from $1,981 last year.