LOCAL bank BancABC has unveiled a cocktail of initiatives including extending tailor-made bid bonds to contractors in Zimbabwe as part of efforts to promote infrastructure projects in the country and digital solutions in the face of a changing landscape.
The move is driven by need to fund the construction industry which plays a critical role in the economy. “Investment in construction and commercial property has a strong case in Africa following the rapid urbanisation, projected economic growth, rising middle class, regional integration among other reasons.
“As a bank, we understand that there has been little investment in the sector over the last couple of years and believe we can contribute to the sector by providing financial solutions for retooling in the sector,” said the bank in a presentation.
BancABC is a part of London Stock Exchange listed Atlas Mara. “To help your business mitigate risk, ensure payment security, demonstrate your financial credibility and tender competitively for business, BancABC part of Atlas Mara issues exceptional solutions namely bid bonds, performance guarantees and advance payment guarantees,” Banc ABC added.
A bid bond is a guarantee that you provide to the project owner stating that you have the capability to take on and implement the project once you are selected during the bidding process. Normally, project owners do not know if a contractor is financially stable or has the necessary resources to take on a project.
This adds to the bank’s asset finance, term loans and property finance initiatives. Banc ABC managing director Mr Joe Sibanda said the bid bond product has been developed with the construction industry in mind. “It is an over the counter product that is available to any of our customers from any of our BancABC branches countrywide. The customer or contractor only needs to approach their branch with their request and a suitable risk mitigant and evidence of proven performance in the sphere for which a bid bond is required.
“Should the customer’s submission meet the bank’s requirements, the bid bond will be made available in a matter of hours. The terms are specific to each individual application based on the risk assessment of each application,” Mr Sibanda said.
Mr Sibanda also said the financial services industry is going through dramatic changes as a consequence of changing customer behaviour, channel proliferation and the digitisation of business and society in general.
“Customers want Omni channel service and access to information on their terms. With the advent of a digital prosumer, they also want to communicate on their terms and as such the focus on the retail branch banking is shifting.
In 2017 half year results published yesterday, BancABC reported a $2,4 million profit, up from a loss of $3,1 million prior year.