HARARE – Zimbabwe`s oldest commercial bank, Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited will in the second quarter of this year roll out its first retail digital banking platform as the international banking institution move to enhance efficiency as electronic banking continues to gain traction.
In 2016, Standard Chartered launched a mobile and online banking platform to one million clients across eight African markets, including Zimbabwe, the most extensive digital rollout of its kind in Africa by an international bank.
Supported by the bank’s global-standard technology, clients are exposed to consistent online experience across electronic devices such as laptops, tablets or mobile phones, and the convenience of banking from the location of their choice.
Standard Chartered Chairman Lovemore Manatsa said the move is expected to align the bank with the latest digital trends.
“The bank continues to play its part in driving investments, trade and creation of wealth across Africa, Asia and the Middle East by leveraging on the group`s strong global network and unique diversity.
“To align with the latest digital trends and to deliver on one of its strategic priorities, Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe is scheduled to roll out its first retail digital banking platform in Q2 2019 to give clients freedom of self service on their electronic devices,” he said
On performance, the international banking institution recorded a 38,3 percent jump in after tax profit to US$18,4 million for the year ended 31 December 2018 spurred by growth of digital banking platforms and a reduction in operating costs.
The bank`s non-performing loan ratio (NPL) improved to 1,2 percent from 2,8 percent the prior year and the percentage ratio was well within the regulatory threshold of 5 percent.
Manatsa attributed the good performance in FY18 strategies implemented by the financial institution that have begun to bear fruit.
“The bank achieved an after tax profit of US$18,4 million for the year ended 31 December 2018, a significant improvement compared to US$13,3 million achieved in the previous year. Our strategy of digitising the banking platforms is beginning to bear fruit through operational efficiencies and a reduction in cost,” he said.
The banking institution`s balance sheet is liquid and management remains optimistic that it will this year meet the target core capital requirements of $100 million by December 2020.
According to regulatory requirements banks operating in Zimbabwe are required to meet minimum capital requirements of $100 million by 2020.
Loans and Advances were down 8,5 percent form US$ 152 893 497 to US$ 139 234 626 while total liabilities stood at US$843 995 177.
Standard Chartered said,” The economy continues to face headwinds as economic fundamentals have remained weak, the bank continues to invest in and promote use of electronic payment platforms in line with global payment trends,”
Standard Chartered did not declare a dividend.