For some reason, I am not that surprised. If you’re honest, you will admit that you’re not that surprised too. It is being reported that Dr Lance Mambondiani, BancABC managing director, has been placed on forced leave pending investigations into alleged malpractices.
It is highly unlikely that he will be returning to BancABC after that ‘leave.’ The reports say Lance fell out with the BancABC board of directors “over a protracted period on issues relating to misgovernance and fraudulent practices.”
Those are serious allegations. Fraudulent practices? I did not see that coming. However, let us remember we don’t know for certain that he engaged in any fraud. This is all according to sources inside the bank and until it’s been proven in a court of law, it’s just speculation.
There are conflicting reports though. They say yes, Lance is on his way out but they say there was no fallout with the board. They say his departure may have something to do with Atlas Mara divesting from their banking assets in several African countries leading to CEOs leaving their posts.
I hope for Lance’s sake that it’s this and not the former.
Lance’s rollercoaster tenure
Dr Lance has been at the helm of BancABC since July 2019. It is unfortunate for him but some of us associate his tenure with downtimes. Who can forget the infamous VISA-gate scandal where BancABC’s VISA card services were down for more than 48 hours?
We got some crazy testimonies from BancABC customers who were left stranded in foreign lands because of it. You will remember that Dr Lance apologised for that mess but the damage was already done.
Of course, we can’t boil his tenure down to just the VISA mishap. There were other systems challenges that did not involve VISA. There was a 6-month stretch from around September 2021 to March 2022 where BancABC just couldn’t catch a break.
However, Dr Lance cannot take sole credit for BancABC systems challenges, they happened before he joined the bank too. Although, when one considers the systems challenges that Steward Bank regularly dealt with during his tenure as CEO there, one can rush to conclude he is the common denominator.
It wasn’t all bad
Okay, that’s enough of the missteps and misfortunes he faced. What Dr Lance is great at is thinking outside the box. I guess that’s what made BancABC hire him after he ‘parted ways’ with Steward Bank. Lance is not your typical banker, content with where banking is. No, he read too many Silicon Valley books and believes in disruptions.
You will remember his famous quote, “banking is necessary, banks are not.” I don’t imagine seasoned bankers took kindly to that statement. Those fatcat long-serving bank executives believe the opposite and are the reason why worldwide, banks can mess up and still count on governments to bail them out with taxpayer money.
So, I move that if we are to remember anything about Lance’s tenure as BancABC managing director, let’s remember CityHopper. The local remittance service for which they partnered with Pick’n’Pay was launched in September 2020.
After only a year, CityHopper had processed over US$10 million. That was quite the achievement. The domestic remittance space is a bit more crowded these days but CityHopper still trudges along fine.
The other example of Lance thinking outside the box was the DialAVisa service where customers could apply for and receive a prepaid VISA card at their front door. It was the perfect idea during lockdown times. It has since been copied by other banks.
A wild ride
There are more positive things that happened during his tenure. If he is to take the blame for the negatives, he should get his flowers for the positives as well.
Lance has had quite the ride in the banking industry in Zimbabwe but I fear his stint with BancABC may be his last in that sector. I don’t see any bank engaging him now after he’s been let go by two banks in the country.
I’m not worried for him though. He has his qualifications, experience and contacts. He should land on his feet.
BancABC has rubbished claims that Lance and some other executives resigned because of an impending disposal of the bank by Atlas Mara. That is NOT the case.
Lance was placed “on forced leave and resigned two days after an external firm was engaged to conduct an investigation into his malpractices which were brought to the attention of the board by whistleblowers.”
The list of malpractices he is being accused of is long;
- violating the bank’s policies and procedures related to the procurement of service providers who were engaged without following proper procedures for his (Mambondiani)’s interests
- abuse of the bank’s holiday homes and lodges at resorts centres in Kariba and Nyanga
- abuse of banking facilities
- abuse of the bank’s assets including vehicles
- governance breaches and management delinquency
Interview: Lance Mambondiani, BancABC MD, Past Steward Bank CEO – ‘Banking Is Necessary, Banks Are Not’
BancABC VISA card services “partially” back online after a days-long outage
The alleged culprit of BancABC’s crazy prepaid Visa outage is now in court
30 thoughts on “[Update] Lance Mambondiani forced to step down from BancABC MD position”
He’s going to the rbz to replace mangudya according to info that I got.but it’s not a credible source.we shall see
He did a good job at ABC and the pick n pay deal in particular was great.yoi sort out your banking needs while you shop. Ppl can deposit straight to your account in any town excellent way of receiving cash at no extra cost esp USD.
I don’t know who those sources are but that would be quite the leap for him. I am not against it though. At this point anything to shake up the RBZ would be welcome.
I will be honest though, i doubt this.
He’s clearly innovative and not afraid to fail. Why can’t he make that leap? John Mangudya was Group CEO of CBZ before assuming the role of Governor of RBZ. He has unparalleled banking expertise in Europe, from UBS, Investec in SA, Ulster Bank in Ireland. He is a disruptor as the article points out, I think Zimbabwe needs more of that.
RBZ only recruits from CBZ, otherwise kuti inobuda musaga.
Trust My source broe
I hear the issue has something to do with sexual harassment. Just rumours.
Saw those rumours as well. We just don’t know how true or false they are.
If it is a case of purported “malpractice“ then it’s good for him. It serves him right. But usually in such cases anenge aramba ku signer deal remumwe munhu “ the whistleblower “. Especially remunhu mukuru. Kuma board chair zvichienda zvakadero. Muma boards mune activism yakaoma.
I like him for being dynamic and creativity which reflects in innovations you see where ever he goes. However , I feel he needs to widen his shelf life especially in the financial industry. Hop stepping and jumping will erode confidence.
He is very charismatic which is a plus.
True, you cannot deny his charisma or creativity. It’s the other more mundane bits of the job you can question, but not thinking outside the box.
In the end, businesses only have use for visionaries up to a point. Then they seek out those that can stabilise the ship. Don’t mean it’s good that they do this. Just pointing out what happens.
The heading of the story does not paint a good underground story neither of Lance nor the bank. I like him for being dynamic and creativity which reflects in innovations you see where ever he goes. However , I feel he needs to widen his shelf life especially in the financial industry. Hop stepping and jumping will erode confidence.
He is very charismatic which is a plus.
I hear that Simbisa is launching its own bank riding on it’s InnBucks outfit. He may be headed there. Lance’s associated with innovation and I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys have snapped him up!
I would be surprised if they snapped him up.
Innovation and systems failure surely increases your value
Inns owns 40% of MyCash. When MyCash put up a cautionary statement about two years or so back insiders said Innscor wanted to purchase the bank to support dial a delivery service for customer purchases. Now its the cousin Simbisa who went on to start innbucks. It would be very interesting how the MyCash shareholding by the sister company Innscor will be leveraged in the bank setting up.
“It is highly unlikely that he will not be returning to BancABC after that ‘leave.’ ” nyorai chirungu mushe
Erica ka 🤣🤣 Pagadziriswa.
Chakauya nengarava ichi 😂
And the managing director of Access Bank a sister financial institution operating in Botswana has just resigned. What a coincidence?
Hanzi airova mari mukomana. Ut wa s just a matter of time
Lance failed me at Steward Bank. Him and his cronies pocketed to much hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whilst he paid me and many others 100,USD. Remember I have a degree too just like his cronies. . Just like him. Guys let’s not lie that so and so is innovative. Anyone can do it. Lance is a thief and ethics and governance hapana chizivikanwa. Kutsurs chirungu chete.
Dude never impressed me. He’s more of a “paper fire” which brightens up but for a very short while. He has a habit of jumping ship whilst the paper fire is still burning but after his departure, consequences later come out. If he’s headed to the RBZ, ma one!
He is the type of leader who is best for new projects not current businesses. His management style is aggressive growth (more like gambling at most) & doesn’t usually go well when you spend too much to achieve so little. Refer to his tenure at Steward Bank & you will realise the damage he left there.
I had a terrible experience at Steward Bank with so inconveniences from their Mastercard not working when I am abroad and taking money from my account only to give it back after 31 days, to giving out loans in ZWL when you borrowed in USD and then demanding money in USD. I moved to BancABC, and everything was smooth until this Lance guy happened, my VISA card stopped working and their SWIFT code had problems, and my funds were hangingin their system for more than a month. This guy must be investigated. Anyone who has dealt with institutions under his watch has a story and a half to tell
Inns owns 40 % of MyCash. When they bought into the bank it was said they wanted it to compliment dial a delivery. Now its under simbisa after the demerger. How will that ownership of MyCash be leveraged by the simbisa if it would happen would be interesting
Lance usually comes to a bank with innovation it works well as soon as a upgrade happens all goes wrong, Steward Bank, then BancABC.I had mastercard from Steward Bank ,it ended badly, got a Steward Bank visa card did not end well, moved to BancABC visa card was working well then suddenly they required us to get new cards all went wild😭.Lance is just short time guy