BAILIFF yesterday disrupted Atlas Mara operations as they executed a High Court judgment issued in favor of Dimitrios Monokandilos and Filandria Kouri relating to a debit of US$949,933.87 from their account by Finance Bank in 1996.
The bank earlier told its clients that they were having “technical challenges which have impacted our banking services”.
The disruption of the bank’s services affected all Automated Teller Machines and nearly all branches were closed.
Eric Ngondo, country head – marketing and corporate communications confirmed the development in a statement this afternoon.
“African Banking Corporation T/A as Atlas Mara Zambia has experienced a service disruption as a result of interference to the main servers which host the core banking platform that runs the bank,” Ngondo stated.
“The interference occurred as a result of execution of a High Court judgment issued in favor of one Dimitrios Monokandilos and Filandria Kouri relating to a debit of US$949,933.87 from the account of the plaintiffs by Finance Bank Zambia Limited (FBZ) on 26th February 1996.”
According to Ngondo, FBZ was acting on its right of setoff against the plaintiffs’ accountin respect of a guarantee issued in favour of finance bank.
“Following a judgment dated 3rd December 2014, FBZ appealed the High Court Judgment. The appeal was heard and is currently pending judgment in the Supreme court,” Ngondo explained.
Atlas Mara managing director James Koni regretted the disruption to the banking services as they serve a wide and diverse customer base who rely on them to manage their day-to-day financial needs.
“We believe this action to disrupt the operations of the bank is unnecessary and regrettable and we wholly apologise for the inconvenience that has been caused to our valued customers. We have since retrieved our property and are working to restore the banking services and expect to be fully operational and open to enable our customers to achieve their objectives,” reads the statement. “We would like to thank our customers for their usual support and patience during this time.”
Atlas Mara Zambia is financial institute borne out of the merger of BancABC and Finance Bank Zambia in 2016.
It currently has one of the largest branch networks in Zambia with 58 branches and agencies as well as 116 ATMs spread across Zambia’s ten (10) provinces.