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ZB to leverage on new technology

Financial services group, ZB Financial Holdings Limited, says digitisation is at the core of its aspirations to be a paperless financial institution as technology trends continue to increase.

This was revealed by ZB Financial Holdings Limited’s group chief executive officer, Shepherd Fungura, at the group’s 70th-anniversary celebrations held concurrently in Harare and Bulawayo on Saturday. The advent of Covid-19 has led to rapid disruption in the field of technology, in this manner a demand for the adoption of new technology particularly in the banking and financial service sectors that require the use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

While addressing attendants at the event Mr Fungura indicated that his group intended to upgrade its services to match the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic that require less contact between individuals, thereby pushing for a paperless service provision.

“…we want to start operating in a modern way, even achieving paperless banking type of approach, and we want to ensure that as we continue to do this, our esteemed customers continue to access us even remotely through WhatsApp and other digital platforms of operation and contact.

“So digitalisation is at the core of where we are going as a group, we would want to provide a platform of our operations, services, and products to our customers.

“The global village has become smaller, there is a need now to access our customers through digital means and at this point in time we are continuing to provide such operations to expand so that we can have our customers access our services from the comfort of their homes and anywhere they might want to access us,” said Mr Fungura.

Turning to the anniversary event that was celebrated in pomp and fanfare, Mr Fungura indicated that the group had grown to be a force to reckon with owing to years of experience from over half a century of experience in the banking sector since its establishment in 1951.

“Today we celebrate what is now known as ZB Financial Holdings limited, with the realisation that we see today as an amalgamation of years of experience and memories that have resulted in us creating a very formidable financial services group,” he said.

ZB Financial Holdings Limited was established in 1951 as The Netherlands Bank of Rhodesia limited, a name which was changed to Rhodesia Banking Corporation Limited In 1972 and then to Rhobank in 1979. Upon the inception of the country’s Independence, the bank changed its name once again in 1981 to Zimbabwe Banking Corporation after the Government purchased the majority shareholding.

In 1989, the directors of the company undertook a restructuring exercise with the objective of bringing all subsidiaries and associates under one investment and holding company, Zimbabwe Financial Holdings Limited. The restructuring allowed the bank to concentrate exclusively on providing commercial banking services to the public.

The new holding company was ideally placed to explore other profitable business activities, which were not previously possible because of restrictions placed on the investment activities of the Bank in terms of the Banking Act. The acquisition of a number of subsidiaries over the years allowed the group to offer a wide range of services, which include commercial and merchant banking, hire purchase and leasing as well as trust and executor services. On October 30, 2006, the group adopted a new monumental brand and formally changed its name to ZB Financial Holdings Limited.

This change was also meant to coincide with the merger with former Intermarket Holdings units, namely (Intermarket Bank, Intermarket Building Society, Intermarket Reinsurance, Intermarket Life, and Intermarket Bank Zambia), which units have since adopted the ZB brand. This effectively means ZB Financial Holdings is one of the most diversified financial services counter on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

ZBFH is an integrated financial services group whose core operations encompass insurance, investments and banking thus providing a variety of business and support to customers through a full bouquet of financial services.

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