Harare, (New Ziana) – Stanbic Bank said on Wednesday it had set up nine remote branches at tobacco auction floors across the country ahead of the selling season for the banking convenience of farmers.
The move is also expected to de-congest the main auction floors in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to address cash access challenges which farmers battle with almost every selling season.
Stanbic Bank’s executive director for Corporate and Investment Banking, Betty Murambadoro, said the bank responded to the call by its corporate customers to open the branches in areas where there is high concentration of farmers for ease of transacting.
“The implants (branches) are seasonal and are set to go a long way in improving operational efficiencies as the country grapples with the relentless Covid-19 which has led to the decentralization of tobacco auction floors,” said Murambadoro.
The branches will be located at the bank’s key tobacco clients which include Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco, Mashonaland Tobacco Company and Boost Africa branches in Karoi, Rusape, Mvurwi, Marondera and Harare.
Stanbic Bank is heavily invested in the tobacco industry with US$405m offshore and US$20m onshore tobacco facilities being enjoyed by the main tobacco merchants and primary producers.
Tobacco is Zimbabwe’s biggest agricultural export and foreign currency earner.