The establishment of the Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank Limited (ZICB) and its subsequent launch yesterday will boost liquidity and participation of local businesses in economic growth. Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe said Government will continue partnering with the private sector, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.
Meanwhile, ZICB has assumed over K212 million deposits, and successfully paid about K50 million to former Intermarket Banking Corporation Limited (IBC) customers. This is out of the K66 million IBC owes its former clients. ZICB is a wholly-locally registered bank that has bought some of IBC’s assets and assumed all deposits and certain liabilities of IBC, which is currently under the Bank of Zambia (BoZ).
Mrs Mwanakatwe is saddened that access to finance for SMEs is limited due to structural constraints, including firm informality, high collateral requirements, and poor bank lending tools. “As Government, we want to see enhanced growth of local businesses and local productivity because only this will lead to sustainable wealth creation and poverty alleviation among our people,” she said during the official opening of ZICB.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said it is Government’s expectation that the launch of the new bank will stimulate innovation in the banking sector. She urged local businesses to seize the opportunity to grow their businesses and increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“I wish to commend the central bank, shareholders and the board of ZICB for successfully restructuring the Intermarket Banking Corporation (in liquidation) against all odds and scepticism.
“BoZ, shareholders and depositors were united in their resolve to safeguard the interests of former depositors of IBC,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
ZICB board chairperson Charles Sichangwa called on various stakeholders, including state-owned enterprises, to support ZICB by keeping their deposits with the bank.
Mr Sichangwa said ZICB will continue to play a critical role in the commercialisation and industrialisation of local businesses. “The only link which is there between ZICB and IBC is that the old investors who were depositors with IBC have converted into shareholders of the new bank,” he said. Mr Sichangwa thanked BoZ for taking over IBC by restructuring it.
ZICB chief executive officer Ignatius Mwanza said the financial institution is implementing a new core-banking system to meet expectations of various stakeholders by providing modern banking products and services to ensure quality service delivery. BoZ Governor Denny Kalyalya said this is the first time the central bank has restructured a commercial bank which went under.