FIRST Capital Bank will finally start operating as an independent brand from Barclays Bank in the next twelve months, a senior bank official has said.
The bank, formerly known as Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe, has been operating under a dual brand since its acquisition by the Malawi-listed First Merchant Bank about two years ago.
Currently the bank is branded as First Capital Bank in association with Barclays.
First Capital’s commercial director, Lawrence Nyazema, told a small to medium enterprises (SMEs) supplier chain workshop that the bank was in the final stages of the transition.
“This time next year the ‘Barclays’ should be gone so we are in the final stages of the transition. You will be aware that in 2006, Barclays said that it was leaving Africa. So we have moved on as First Capital,” Nyazema said.
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s departure was part of a broader exit from Africa to refocus on the United States and Britain. All 700 Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe employees were transferred to the new owner.
First Capital is in the process of migrating information technology (IT) systems from Barclays Plc and has faced some glitches along the way.
“We changed our IT systems in March going to April this year. (There have been some issues) because we were moving from 56 systems from Barclays some of them managed out of Singapore and so on. I believe we are really in the final stages of stabilising our IT systems. I would want to think that by the time we go for the festive season those issues would have been sorted out,” Nyazema said.
During the same meeting Nyazema said that First Capital had designed a number of products for the SME sector which included invoice discounting and loyalty lending.
Loyalty lending offers the bank’s loyal customers financing without demanding security. The funds are released within a day to hedge against inflationary pressure to allow clients to meet orders before prices have changed.