If you were a bit older during the third Chimurenga period in Zimbabwe then you no doubt remember Time Bank. That bank came out guns blazing before it was shut down by the RBZ in 2004.
After that what happened should probably be made into a movie. The story involves the RBZ owing Time Bank money which could have prevented the closure of the bank had they received it in time. It involves litigations and more litigations. All this over happening over many years.
The latest chapter in this fascinating story is that the RBZ is reinstating Time’s licence and the bank will be resuming operations subject to prior inspections. The RBZ issued a statement on the matter:
TIME BANK OF ZIMBABWE LIMITED
1 Members of the public are advised that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Time Bank of Zimbabwe Limited have had historical disputes, which have been the subject of various litigation. During this period, Time Bank has not been operating as banking institution.
2 Following discussions between the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Time Bank to address the issues, resolution has been reached, paving way for re-opening of the bank.
3 Time Bank shall be resuming banking operations subject to prior inspections by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to ensure that Time Bank has put in place the necessary capital and banking systems and structures.
Registrar of Banking Operations
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
We have no shortage of banks in Zimbabwe and so it is hard to get really pumped by Time rising from the ashes. What is exciting is that the shareholders of the bank are getting some form of justice. The bank did not deserve to be shut down.
It is also hard to see the bank thriving in the super competitive banking space seeing as they are several steps behind regardless of that not being their fault. Banking in Zimbabwe has changed since the early 2000s when Time Bank excelled. We have many new innovations, mobile money banking probably being the biggest interrupter to the traditional banking system.
I could be completely wrong here and Time could come out with innovative solutions and take the banking world by storm. I hope that will be the case, we all love success stories.
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