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Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank, Mastercard forge partnership

ZAMBIA Industrial Commercial Bank board of directors chairman Charles Sichangwa says there is no connection between Intermarket Bank and the ZICB, “apart from operating in the building in which they (Intermarket) used to operate [from].”

“There is no connection between Intermarket Bank and the Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank (ZICB), apart from operating in the building in which they used to operate [from],” Sichangwa said during the official unveiling of the ZICB corporate brand as well as launch of its partnership with Mastercard at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka on Tuesday night.

“We have new shareholders, new systems, new staff. If that (perception that ZICB is the same as Intermarket Bank) was one of the restraints why you were not coming to bank with us, that is now dispelled. We are well capitalised; we have the strongest shareholders you can get in the Zambian banking environment today.”

He appealed to Zambians to bank with the ZICB, a parastatal.

“It’s a Zambian bank, by Zambians for Zambians. That means from the government, the parastatals and the general public. So, you must ask yourself not what the bank will do for you but what you can do for the bank,” noted Sichangwa.

The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) took possession of the Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited on November 28, 2016, saying it had become insolvent and was unable to meet its obligations as they fell due.

The possession, according to BoZ, was for an initial period of 90 days, during which the Central Bank was to prepare a statement of affairs of the assets and liabilities of the bank and engage potential shareholders with the capacity to restore Intermarket Bank to solvency at the end of that period, in line with provisions of the banking and financial services Act.

On February 27, 2017, the BoZ announced that it would re-structure Intermarket Banking Corporation (IBC) to facilitate its opening.

On June 27, 2017, then finance minister Felix Mutati, in a ministerial statement, told Parliament that the BoZ had reached an agreement with the shareholders of Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited on how to re-establish the bank.

Mutati, on October 6, 2017, in a terse ministerial statement in Parliament, reiterated that government had successfully re-structured Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (in possession).

“Further, the shareholders agreement for the re-structured bank has been concluded and the capital requirement has been made,” said Mutati.

“The new bank will operate under the name Zambia Industrial Commercial Bank Limited and will take over the assets and deposits of Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (in possession). Management for the re-structured bank has been appointed and will soon commence operation.”

The ZICB was officially launched on October 23, 2018 and has, so far, branches in Kitwe and Lusaka.

At the Tuesday event, where Mutati was in an attendance, finance minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, who was represented by his ministry’s permanent secretary – budget and economic affairs Dr Emmanuel Mulenga Pamu, commended the board, management and staff of the ZICB Limited for continuing to build the operations of the bank in the past 13 months since it was opened.

ZICB chief executive officer Ignatius Mwanza noted that from its incorporation, the ZICB had been clear that it was building itself on the foundations of digital platforms and innovation.

He added that the disruptive power of digital technology had altered every sphere of society, from access to information to the enablement of commerce.

“The paradigm for delivering banking products and services has shifted and digital delivery channels are the new status quo,” Mwanza said.

He also indicated that the launch of the Mastercard services and the full implementation of its core banking system had given the ZICB a capability to offer customer value propositions which competed with the best in Zambia.

The ZICB-Mastercard partnership will see the ZICB accept and issue Mastercard payment solutions to provide their customers with safer and more convenient alternatives to transact.

Mastercard is a technology company that provides consumers with easy, safe and seamless buying experiences.
Meanwhile, Mastercard country manager for Zambia and Malawi Vincent Malekani said: “this is the first time a Zambian bank will issue Mastercard commercial cards which enable businesses to streamline their purchasing processes.”

“Zambia is an important market for ZICB and we are pleased to partner with ZICB to bring new solutions to the market to help businesses better manage their finances,” said Malekani.

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