Econet Wireless Limited is to change the name of its banking subsidiary, TN Bank Limited, to Steward Bank Limited, sealing the transformation of the commercial bank expected to capitalise on Econet’s growing mobile money services unit, Eco-Cash.
A notice in the Government Gazette of May 24, 2013, said TN Bank will change its name to Steward Bank Limited. Empirical Business Service were named as the name-change agent in the gazette.
Meanwhile Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited (Econet) has reshuffled TN Bank’s top management.
The shake-up – involving the appointment of new executives, including United Kingdom-based financial analyst Lance Mambondiani, to the bank’s key positions – comes as Econet increased its shareholding to 98, 6 percent in TN Bank following a cash and share swap deal in February.
Kwanele Ngwenya, TN Bank chief executive, said the exercise is targeted at “maintaining momentum and ensure that the bank has the right organisational leadership in place to direct the success of its business.”
“Developing an executive team with experience that spans the length and breadth of our business is an important part of managing our journey to long-term success,” he said in the Bank’s internal newsletter, adding that “in our current environment where technological changes require increasing flexibility and speed to market, it’s even more critical that our leaders possess a broad understanding of our business and the customers we serve.”
Mambondiani, who has had exposure to both Zimbabwean and British institutions, will join TN Bank in July as head of business development.
“He will be responsible for building our network and delivering value to our growing client and partner base,” said Ngwenya.
Winston Makamure has been appointed head of projects.
He re-joins TN Bank from Paybay, a unit of Econet Customer Services.
Ben Muchina comes in as head of segments, joining TN Bank from Standard Chartered Botswana where he headed corporate banking.
In his new role, Muchina will preside over corporate banking, public sector, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and agribusiness.
“I am confident that he (Muchina) will bring considerable knowledge and expertise in serving our clients to provide integrated solutions across a wide range of portfolios,” said Ngwenya.
Also joining TN Bank is Nyasha Chidavaenzi who will be in charge of customer experience management.
All these appointments, except Mambondiani’s, were with effect from June 1.
“We are making progress in developing competitive products, building an efficient branch network, selecting a new name and identity for our bank and improving systems and processes,” said Ngwenya.
Sources close to the developments say Econet – Zimbabwe’s largest wireless network operator – plans to rebrand TN Bank to Steward Bank.
Ngwenya, a South African, was head of operations at FNB Botswana before joining TN Bank in February.
Meanwhile, Econet confirmed injecting $50 million towards recapitalisation of TN Bank.
Roy Chimanikire, Econet’s deputy finance director, told businessdaily last week that the fresh capital was aimed at strengthening the convergence of the group’s telecommunications and financial services portfolios.
“We put in $50 million. Plus the existing capital ($26, 9 million), we are sitting at approximately $75 million,” said Chimanikire, adding that they were working towards reaching the $100 million minimum capital as required by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
Last year, RBZ governor Gideon Gono ordered banks to recapitalise to a minimum $100 million in a phased manner.
The institutions were supposed to comply with the initial phase of $25 million whose deadline expired on December 31, 2012.
Going forward, TN Bank is required to reach $50 million minimum capital by June 2013, then $75 million by December same year before eventually reaching $100 million by June 2014.
In March, Econet’s founder Strive Masiyiwa said TN Bank will be repositioned and rebranded in a year’s time.