Steward Bank has dismissed a panic message spreading on WhatsApp which is advising customers to close their bank accounts, as malicious.
The panic message which spread virally yesterday “alerted” customers of the bank that they risked having their bank accounts frozen due to problems at the bank.
Said the message:
Alert If you have a an account with Steward Bank pliz transfer your money to another bank with the next 24hrs, Steward bank is about to freeze your accounts and you won’t be able to access your money for next 6 months the process has already started others are already failing to access their funds…..
Please forward this to your relatives or friends before they cry
Steward Bank has assured its customers via social media that the message is just malicious:
Please be advised that contrary to a malicious message circulating on social media, Steward Bank has no plans to restrict, freeze or limit customer transactions in any form and for any period as suggested. Whilst we have experienced some intermittency with our RIGS platform due to an increase in the volume of transactions being processed, all our platforms are fully functional with our customers transacting as normal. Customers are advised to ignore this fake announcement and when in doubt contact the Bank through our contact centre.
The bank is not the first institution to have to dismiss information spreading on social media, especially the via WhatsApp. Just last week, the RBZ had to clarify that it wasn’t issuing out new Bond Notes after a fake news article, supposedly written by the Herald, spread virally on WhatsApp.
It appears, the fake messages alerting Zimbabweans to developments in the financial services sector are easily believed. The reason could be that several banks in Zimbabwe closed without notice in the past, resulting in account holders losing their savings. There’s little trust by customers in the players and the regulator of the sector.
Steward Bank, is a commercial bank registered and trading in Zimbabwe. Founded as TN Bank in 2001, it later re-branded in 2013, after majority shareholding was bought by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, becoming the banking partner/platform that EcoCash runs on. Read More
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows mobile phone users to exchange messages without having to pay for Short Message Services costs. WhatsApp Messenger application is compatible with different mobile phone models such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. The application is said to be used by close to one billion people from different parts of the world and ranks as one of the most popular mobile social apps globally. Read More