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New Finance Bank resumes partnership talks

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New Finance Bank (NFB) has resumed merger talks with other institutions, a month after the failed discussions with Opportunity Bank.

The two institutions entered into negotiations in an attempt to meet the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) capital requirement under Basel II.

In an exclusive interview with Times Business, NFB newly recruited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zandile Shaba, said the decision is in line with the bank’s mission statement, which is to grow through partnerships and technology.

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She would not, however, disclose institutions they are now targeting.

“So, the goals and objectives that we had hoped to achieve through the merger will still be achieved through partnerships,” she said.

Shaba further said NFB has been in an investment phase over the past two years during which shareholders have invested over $10 million in infrastructure and systems.

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“We are expecting additional support to come in soon. The next phase of development is for the Bank to grow and start posting profits,” Shaba added.

She said since most of the bank’s growth will be driven by investment in technology, NFB expects that their cost to income ratio should be one of the lowest in the market in the near future, having built a solid foundation.

In January 2014, Malawi adopted an international business standard called Basel II that requires financial institutions to maintain enough cash reserves to cover risks incurred by operations.

In an earlier interview with Times Business RBM Spokesperson, Mbane Ngwira, said following the adoption of Basel II on January 1 2014, all banks have to ensure that they are adequately capitalised at all times.

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