South Africa's FirstRand to run Zambia's Finance Bank

Zambia's central bank has appointed South Africa's FirstRand (FSRJ.J) to run a key commercial bank facing collapse due to poor management, a central bank spokesman said today.

Kanguya Mayondi said the central bank took over the operations of Zambia's Finance Bank on yesterday because its viability was threatened by bad practices by shareholders, directors and management.

"In order to ensure a smooth possession period, the central bank has appointed its agents, seconded staff from FirstRand group to manage the operations of Finance Bank," Mayondi said.

"This measure was necessary in order to protect the interests of depositors and other creditors of the bank, and ensure the stability of the banking sector in Zambia."

FirstRand is South Africa's second-largest bank.

Mayondi said FirstRand staff will be deployed across all branches of Finance Bank, one of the largest banks by network in Zambia.

The central bank would ensure that Finance Bank continued to run normally and had appointed a new interim chief executive officer, Mayondi said said.