THE increased use of forex in local transactions saw First Capital Bank Zimbabwe recording a 10 percent increase in nostro deposits, acting MD Ciaran McSharry told the annual general meeting held last Thursday.
Market players including the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries have noted the widespread use of the US dollar for transactions in the economy with Government itself also now paying its workers US dollar allowances while collecting some levies, taxes and fees in foreign currency.
With the formal sector also accepting payments in US dollars, banks are likely to see an increase in foreign currency deposits as reported by First Capital Bank.
However, deposits in local currency are also growing at a much faster pace with RTGS deposits for the bank increasing by about 70 percent to $1,5 billion.
The bank has not kept all these deposits under lock and key but has increased loans and advances. The bank’s loan book grew by 24 percent during the period.
Going forward McSharry said the bank will focus on growing its digital base, making sure that customers can transact and reduce client-flow into their branch network.
The coronavirus (Covid-19) increased the drive towards digitisation of banking and First Capital has seen an increase in utilisation of digital platforms.
“We also look to increase our US$ balance sheet and income through increased loan offerings and transactional income on the nostro accounts that we have with our clients,” McSharry added.