Thandiwe Katinhimure, Business Reporter
NMB Bank says it has secured a corresponded agent for United States dollars and Euro clearing with a German bank to facilitate international transactions.
The bank said in a notice that it has partnered a German bank named “ODDO BHF”, which will clear its US$ and Euro currencies.
“We are pleased to inform you that NMB Bank has now secured a correspondent agent for USD and EURO clearing with a German Bank, ODDO BHF,” said the bank.
A correspondent bank is a financial institution that provides services on behalf of another. Zimbabwean banks make use of correspondent banks for international transactions. By July 2017, the country had lost at least 50 foreign correspondent banks since 2008 because of compliance issues and sanctions.
At that time the country had only three correspondent banks facilitating foreign currency exchange and payments, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“Please note that the USD account is currently restricted to receiving funds, therefore, outward telegraphic transfers will be facilitated through Euro, Rand and CNY currencies,” NMB said.
The bank provided a full list of its banking correspondent’s names. For South African rands, the correspondent bank’s name is Standard Bank South Africa, Botswana Pula goes with National Bank of Botswana and Chinese Yuan’s correspondent bank is Bank of China.
The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has stressed the need for banks to strengthen the correspondent banking relationships with leading global banks as the strained relations are beginning to pose significant risks to the country’s efforts to finance international trade.
BAZ representative and ZB chief executive officer Mr Ron Mutandagayi is on record saying there is a need to strengthen re-engagement initiatives and processes with multi-lateral financial institutions and co- operating partners and minimise the continuation of de-risking, reduce country risk and improve financial relations.