THE Bank of Zambia says it’s not in receipt of any application for acquisition of any commercial bank.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) recently revealed that it was investigating a former ward councilor of Lusaka for the suspicious purchase of a named bank with all its assets worth K300 million.
But in response to a Diamond TV press query on the same, Tuesday, Bank of Zambia assistant director for communications Besnat Mwanza stated that the process for obtaining a banking license or acquiring an interest in a bank was a rigorous one and that applicants were required to fully comply with the set criteria.
She stated that apart from determining that an applicant for a banking license had adequate capital, the Bank of Zambia also verifies the source of the capital.
“Please note that the Bank of Zambia is not in receipt of any application for acquisition of any commercial bank. The process for obtaining a banking license or acquiring an interest in a bank is rigorous and all applicants are required to fully comply with the set criteria before approval for a license or ownership of an interest is granted. Apart from determining that an applicant for a banking license has adequate capital, the Bank of Zambia also verifies the source of capital as part of compliance with international obligations related to Anti-Money Laundering requirements, Countering of Terrorists and Proliferation Financing and the Basel Core Principles of Effective Banking Supervision,” Mwanza stated.
“In addition, the Bank of Zambia conducts proper and fit assessments including security vetting through State Agencies for all persons proposed to be associated with a bank in various capacities such as senior management, directors, and shareholders to ensure their suitability to manage, direct or own a bank. In cases where a person wishes to acquire a significant ownership interest wholly or partially in a bank or financial institution, prior Bank of Zambia approval is required as provided for under Section 27(3) of the Banking and Financial Services Act. In such circumstances, other regulatory safeguards are also imposed by the regulators at the stock exchange as part of their due diligence processes.”
Mwanza further directed all queries on the said matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission since the case was still under investigation.
“In this regard, since this matter is still under investigation, any further queries must be referred to the Anti-Corruption Commission who are handling this issue,” said Mwanza.