ZB customers increase by 100% as Zimbabweans warm up to internet banking

Diversified financial services group, ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) registered a 100% increase in customers following massive investment in information communication technology.

The group unveiled the International Virtual Service Centre (IVSC) in June this year. The IVSC is a paperless service which makes use of digital platforms to transact. Customers can access the bank’s services virtually through a phone call, email, whatsapp or message.

The company’s third quarter update reported a whopping 100% jump in the number of customers across retail and corporate banking segments.

“The Group’s wide channels network witnessed customer base growth across retail and corporate banking segments. Number of customer accounts increased by more than 100% to 722 510,” read the third quarter trading update released this Tuesday.

The increase in the number of customers triggered an upsurge in transaction volumes, which caused the expansion in commissions and fees by ZW$ 142 billion in Q 3 2023 when compared to Q3 2022 result of ZW$33 billion.

The launch of the IVSC has helped the company to increase its footprint in the country.

The company’s net revenue increased by 488% ahead of its projections and was higher than the level of cost expansion.

The third quarter 2023 revenue from lending activities grew by more than 108% compared to prior period last year.

The issuance of United States Dollar denominated loans helped to increase trading margins.

Non- interest income increased by 638% from ZW$135 billion for the 9 months to Q3 2022 to ZW$997 billion for the 9 months to Q3 2023.

Turning to SBUs, the company reported that the insurance segment performed well recording growth of 23% on gross premium in Q3 2023, due to improved insurance products sales across all the Service Centres, as well lower mortality claims, improved investment returns and growth in net premium income from regional operations.

The property portfolio has maintained an occupancy rate of at least 90% over the 9 months to 30 September 2023. The stability in occupancy levels boosted net property income.

Operating expenses grew by 258% in Q3 2023, driven by a high-inflation environment, which pushed up both remuneration and administration costs.

The company’s operations continued to be sustainably profitable, posting a profit after tax (PAT) of ZW$735bn, 988% improvement from same period last year.

The Group’s total assets grew from ZW$1 049 billion as at 31 December 2022 to ZW$2 728 billion as at 30 September 2023.

The company’s loan book grew by 332% from ZW$205 billion as at 31 December 2022 to close at ZW$889 billion as at 30 September 2023, as USD loans came through at increased levels, which were then translated at a higher rate at the end of the period.

The company’s future is bright as the authorities have instituted positive measures to stem inflation and bring economic stability.

“A tight monetary policy stance, use of gold coins and effective monitoring of activity in the financial sector by the authorities is also expected to go a long way towards promoting stability in the economy”, read the update.

Government has ensured companies thrive in this environment while opening up the country to investors.

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