Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:50:45 +0000
ZAMBIA’s banking sector remains stable despite the takeover of Intermarket Banking Corporation, says the Central Bank.
And Finance Minister Felix Mutati has assured the nation that the banking sector is stable and Zambians should not panic over rumours that some banks were about to close and that depositors risked losing their money.
Bank of Zambia deputy governor for operations and registrar of banks, Bwalya Ng’andu, reiterated the Central Bank’s commitment to the mandate of maintaining stability in the financial sector.
“The Bank of Zambia wishes to inform the general public, the banking community and all other interested parties that, currently, the financial position of the banking sector remains stable,” Dr Ng’andu said in a statement issued by BoZ yesterday.
Dr Ng’andu also dissociated the BoZ from speculations that it was considering closing or taking possession of other banks.
He explained that the decision to take possession of Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited was necessitated by the bank’s insolvency and its inability to meet obligations as they fell due. “Following the possession of Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited on 29 November 2016, the Bank of Zambia has noted with concern reports and negative sentiments circulating on institutions under its supervision,” he said.
“Owing to the sensitivity of the financial sector, the bank is appealing to the general public to refrain from speculating on matters that have the potential to cause alarm and panic to customers of banks and thereby affect the stability of the financial sector as a whole.” Dr Ng’andu said BoZ would cause to be prepared a Statement of Affairs of the assets and liabilities of Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited during the possession period which would determine the next course of action as provided by the Banking and Financial Services Act, including the treatment of depositors and other creditors.
And Finance Minister Feli Mutati told Parliament yesterday that Government, through the Bank of Zambia, was committed to fulfilling its mandate of maintaining stability in the financial sector.
He stated that there was no need for Zambians to panic as all banks operating in the country were stable.
The minister was responding to Mwembeshi MP Machila Jamba who wanted assurance from Government on how secure bank depositors were following unconfirmed reports that more banks were facing challenges with capital investment.
“Currently, the banking sector remains sound and stable and there is no need to panic and I urge all bank users to continue banking with them,” Mr. Mutati said.
In his ministerial statement on the possession of Intermarket Banking Corporation by BoZ, Mr Mutati said the action was taken after a continuous period of engagements with the shareholders in terms of meeting the conditions they were given to purchase the bank.