HomeBusinessNo respite for RMB depositors

No respite for RMB depositors

RMB curator Reggie Saruchera told Standardbusiness on Friday that there were “delicate discussions underway” and would only be able to talk about the issue at the end of the curatorship.

His tenure as curator runs up to November 30. The curator’s mandate is to recommend how the bank can be resuscitated. He can also recommend the liquidation of the institution if there are no chances of the bank recuperating.

RMB was placed under what the central bank termed “recuperative curatorship” on June 2 after its investigations showed that the institution was technically insolvent having been allegedly looted by founding directors, Patterson Timba and Dunmore Kundishora.

When Saruchera was appointed curator, the institution was closed to allow the hand-over take-over of assets. However, when the bank reopened on July 4, Saruchera said only deposits made after his appointment would be withdrawn and all banking operations continue as normal.

“Members of the public are advised that the deposit balances held with the bank as of the 2nd of June 2011 will remain frozen until further notice, while deposits received as from the 4th of July will be available for withdrawal in the ordinary course of business,” Saruchera said in July.

NSSA has US$8,9 million in RMB and the pay-as-you-earn pension scheme has security to guard against loss of deposits either through failure of the financial institution or through failure to pay by the borrowers.

The bank is owed money by the parent company, ReNaissance Financial Holdings and relatives of the founding directors.

LOAN DEFAULT TO RBZ PROBE OF RMB OPERATIONS

A Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) investigation into RMB affairs came after Indian businessman Jayesh Shah blew the whistle on Timba after he reneged in paying US$12,5 million in capital uplift from a US$5 million loan.

Timba had borrowed the money to dilute other shareholders during the bank’s capital raising initiative. Depositors of the bank include the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Chamber of Mines, asset managers, schools, churches and individuals.

The depositors were lured by high interest rates offered by the bank. The affected clients are those that had made call and fixed deposits that have already matured.

RMB recorded a total deposits base of US$63,15 million as at April 30. An RBZ report said RMB was primarily funded by expensive, volatile interbank deposits constituting 62,4% of total deposits.

The RBZ report said the bank’s funding sources were “mainly concentrated in the largest single depositor (NSSA) constituting 13,53% of total deposits excluding the off-shore facilities.

The NSSA deposit, according to the report, was in excess of RMB’s internal policy stipulating that the single largest depositor could not exceed 5% of total deposits.

The report said that RMB’s total deposits as at April 30, amounting to US$14 million, were in a call account, which meant that the deposits could be withdrawn at any given time.  The rest were fixed deposits.

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