Country Report Zimbabwe September 2010

Economic policy: Commercial banking licences are awarded

The RBZ has issued commercial banking licences to Trust Bank, Royal Bank and Barbican Bank with effect from September 1st, bringing the number of commercial banks to 17. The Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group, into which the three banks were forced to amalgamate to form a single institution in 2005 following concerns about high levels of bad debts (March 2005, The domestic economy), will remain in operation as a separate entity. Given that seven existing banks have failed to meet the capital ratios stipulated by the RBZ, there is widespread criticism of the licensing of more institutions in a market that is clearly overbanked.

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