Local financial institution NMB Bank falls prey to WhatsApp hoax

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Social media is a double-edged sword. That was pretty clear today when a hoax message circulated on instant messaging platform WhatsApp stating that NMB Bank, a Zimbabwean financial institution was facing curatorship.

The text message wasn’t phrased like a formal communication, but just a tip-off from someone with some sort of inside information.

To those who have NMB accounts and havent heard the news I advise that you move your money as soon as is humanly possible
got a tip frm senior manager that its close to go under curatorship

NMB Bank has labelled the message as a hoax and has sent a message to all its customers allaying any fears.

Good day. please ignore malicious messages about NMB circulating on social media. Our liquidity remains strong and your money is safe at NMB Bank.

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It’s not surprising that the message raised an alarm, though. Thanks to the viral nature of WhatsApp it was shared in various groups making it hard for most people to ignore it. Some of our readers  with NMB Bank accounts who we spoke to were seriously considering withdrawing their money.

The response might seem like an overreaction especially since the information was provided as a tip-off on social media. However, for Zimbabweans who have experienced the rough side of financial institution viability, it seemed like the smart response.

Since 2012, six retail banks have closed in Zimbabwe, and even before the country migrated to a multi-currency system in 2009, a number of financial institutions had been shuttered for various reasons.

The term curatorship is one that the average Zimbabwean now understands as “the end of a bank” and for those that keep their money with such an institution a loss of savings which are difficult to recover.

Social media is currently the fastest way to spread any sort of information, whether it’s been verified or not. With the popularity that WhatsApp enjoys as a primary communication tool, it has now become the application of choice for individuals pushing false messages.

In this case, the hoax was meant to create a run on deposits, something that would have been detrimental not only for NMB Bank but for other institutions in the sector.

11 Comments

  1. Edie says:

    NMB people tell us whats happening……

  2. wisdomtooth says:

    Almost believed it because NMB generally has poor customer service in my experience and that alone is telling…its probably a matter of time before the WhatsApp prophecy comes to pass

  3. Lenox Mhlanga says:

    Its also bad PR. The folly of investing more on marketing and less on public relations which would have taken care crisis management and a social media strategy. A major issue with local banks.

  4. chihwa says:

    techzim whats the difference between the 1st hoax and the 2nd one you are claiming was sent by nmb…. the msg does not have a signature who will be accountable for the msg

  5. Mehluli Mwale says:

    But guys do you think they can publicly acknowledge that ifever its true. am just asking

  6. Joseph Neusu says:

    This abuse of social media can actually kill a brand as most people do not like the truth getting into the way of a good story. Shouldn’t it be time civil claims are made against such culprits?

  7. Bhowaz says:

    it is sad how we fail to conceptualise and appreciate the real use if technology. shame on the abusers of such technological innovations.

  8. Macd Chip says:

    Zimbos loves gossip, everything in Zim is done through gossip, no wonder most things do not work!!

  9. Gary says:

    Hve u heard of any safe banks like barclays.. SB… or Stanbic going under? Yes SB and Barclays cud pull out of Zim due to % ownership. I wud only deal with one of these 3 banks. Someone knows something….. If u get caught and lose don’t cry.

    1. NotYetUhuru says:

      Stanbic will never pull out of Zimbabwe

  10. kuddy says:

    They are now allowing a maximum of 300 us dollars a day.

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