ZABG was on the brink of collapse after failing to meet the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) minimum capital requirements of US$12,5 million for commercial banks.
It was only rescued after Trebo & Khays, a family investment vehicle owned by Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu, agreed to invest US$22,5 million.
The transaction involved a combination of cash injection (US$5,8 million) and the transfer of assets to the bank by Trebo & Khays.
The assets transferred include York House, one of the tallest buildings in Bulawayo among others.
Information obtained by Standardbusiness showed that the lead investor was in talks with some institutional investors.
“The lead investor is inviting others to come in, but would retain a controlling shareholding,” a close source said.
As part of its plan to tap into the unbanked, ZABG would roll out products tailor-made for various sectors of the economy, targeting students, informal traders and cross-border traders, among others.
In addition, close sources said, the hallmark of the bank’s turnaround would be the development of mining-related banking products.
In the coming weeks, there would be a new board and some management additions, with some restructuring done in a manner that preserves institutional memory.
The new appointments to the bank are subject to regulatory approval from the central bank.
The central bank vets all personnel primed for appointments in executive management and boards of banking institutions.
ZABG problems are historical. Initially the bank was an amalgamation of three failed banks — Trust, Royal and Barbican. When the founders of the three banks fought for their assets, RBZ demerged ZABG into four banks — Trust, Royal, Barbican and ZABG. As a result, ZABG was left “naked”.
In January, RBZ governor Gideon Gono, gave three undercapitalised banks — Royal, ZABG and Genesis — a February 14 deadline to submit plans on how they would meet the prescribed capital thresholds. He said banks that failed to adhere would be closed.
It was at this juncture that Mpofu’s investment vehicle came into the picture.
Royal secured a Kenyan investor while the fate of Genesis is unclear as the bank is still to find an investor.