METROPOLITAN Bank is closing seven branches and agencies nation-wide and merging them with some already existent branches in the financial institute system.
The branches and agencies to close down include Bubi Agency which will now merge with Bulawayo, Gweru Polytechnic which now merges operations with Gweru branch, Masvingo Polytechnic merges with Masvingo branch, the Chinhoyi and Harare Polytechnic branches now merge with Harare’s Central Avenue Branch.
The Sam Nujoma branch now merges with Kwame Nkrumah branch and Hotsprings agency now merges with Mutare Branch.
According to a company circular to employees, five of the seven branches and agencies will cease operating on April 29 2014, before resuming operations on the following day at the new offices, while the remaining Sam Nujoma Branch and Harare Polytechnic will cease operations May 30 2014, before starting operation at the new branch on May 31 2014.
“The Branch Sort Codes for the closing branches/agencies will remain active,” read the circular.
Earlier this year, Metropolitan Bank had featured on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) list of ‘troubled banks’ along with Interfin, Capital, Trust, Allied, Kingdom which have since rebranded to Afrasia and Tetrad as likely to be placed under curatorship.
The financial group posted its half year results to 30 September, 2013, with non-performing loans totalling $29, 43 million.
The group also reported that it was owed US$15 million by Zimbabwe Cricket as part of the loan facility which they had availed for the entity, which had not been honoured to date.
However, in January this year, the group received a rescue package in the form of a US$50 million capital injection by Mauritian based financial group Loita Capital, which now owns 60 percent shareholder stake in the local financial institute.
Board chairman, Wilson Manase at the beginning of the year hinted that the financial institution was already pursuing a number of initiatives to ensure that MetBank returns to profitable operations.
According to a senior bank executive who refused to be named, MetBank has not issued out any directives for retrenchment of any of its employees following the closure and merger of branches, but highlighted that the employees will be assigned to new offices of operation within the financial institution.