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The Code of Banking Practice

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1. Fundamental Principles
We the members of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, undertake that we will:
- Act fairly and reasonably in all our dealings with you;
- Ensure that all services and products comply with this Code, even if they have their own terms and conditions;
- Give you information on our services and products in plain language, and offer help if there is any aspect which you do not understand;
- Foster confidence in the banking system.
- Help you to choose a service or product to suit your needs;
- Help you to understand the basic financial implications of;
 Loan products
 Savings and investment products
 Card products
 Payment services (including RTGS, TT, IT)
 Foreign exchange;
 Electronic Banking products
 Mortgages
 Failure to comply with the KYC requirements & Anti-Money Laundering Laws
 Theft/fraud
 Unclaimed funds, shares and dividends
 Debit orders/stop orders
- Help you to understand how your accounts work;
- Have safe, secure, reliable banking and payment system services including virtual banking platforms.
- Ensure that the procedures our staff follow reflect the commitments set out in this Code and give effect to consumer rights;
- Correct errors and handle complaints speedily.
- Act with uncompromising integrity and fairness so as to promote trust and confidence in ourselves as an industry.
- Ensure that our credit criteria, products and services are based and applied solely on commercial principles and criteria, and do not discriminate against you on the basis of race, religion, age, marital status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, disability, colour, conscience, belief, culture, language, birth, class, economic or social class, political affiliation save to the extent that a distinction is required or justified by any law or to the extent that factor has commercial implications or in respect of a particular target market group;
- Only charge you interest on monies actually owing to us and debited to your account.
- Treat your information as private and confidential, unless we are compelled to do so by law, when we have to protect our interests as in the case of fraud, with your consent or for the purpose of credit references.
- To provide the option and NOT to use your personal information for marketing and promotional purposes when you have opted out of receiving marketing communication.
- Provide you with the details of the Ombudsman for Banking Services if you are not satisfied with the resolution of a dispute, or with the outcome of a dispute handling process.

Our Expectations from you:
- It is your responsibility to disclose all relevant information as part of any credit application to us so that we may make an informed decision to grant credit to you.
- It is your responsibility to live reasonably within your means.
- Before we are allowed by law to establish a relationship with you, or from time to time during the existence of such a relationship, we are required to perform certain identification and verification steps about you. It is your responsibility to assist us in performing these legal obligations to ensure that our relationship can lawfully be established or continue.
- To inform us should any of your contact details change
- To enable us to take the necessary measures to prevent or limit fraud or theft on your account, it is your responsibility to inform us as soon as possible when you discover any unauthorized activities on your account.
- Binding yourself as a surety for another person’s debt is a risky decision. You must keep in mind that you are effectively undertaking to take on the responsibilities of that other person in the event that he/she/it does not honour his/her/its responsibilities in accordance with the terms and condition agreed to between that person and the bank. You should take independent legal advice before agreeing to be a surety or guarantor.
- When making use of internet, telephone or cell phone banking channels, you should take reasonable steps to prevent fraud, theft or the unauthorized use of your account or personal information.
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2. Information
2.1. Information Available
When you become a customer, the bank will give you on request the following information:
2.1.1. Key features:
Clear written information explaining the key features of our main services and products. We will also equip our staff to verbally explain the implications of those packages when you visit the branch.
2.1.2. Your account:
Information on how your account works, including:
- Stopping a cheque or other types of payment
- When funds can be withdrawn after a deposit has been paid into your account, and when funds begin to earn interest;
- When your account details may be passed to Credit Reference Agencies
- Dormant accounts
- Unpaid debit orders
- Unauthorised overdraft
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2.1.3. Charges:
- Details of charges for basic banking services – full details of charges for any service are available on request;
- Information on whether fees or charges are negotiable or not.

2.1.4. Interest rates
Information on the interest rates which apply to your account(s), where interest will be deducted from, or paid to you, and the basis on which interest is calculated
2.2. ATM Charges
We will notify you of the changes to ATM charges by SMS messages and/or, advertisements in the media. Details of these charges can be obtained from your bank.
2.3. Overdrafts and fixed term products
We will inform you of any additional charges and interest you may have to pay when:
- Your account becomes overdrawn without prior agreement
- You exceed your overdraft limit
- Your loan falls into arrears
- You decide to settle your loan early
2.4. We will inform you of the charges (and the applicable amount where possible) for any other service, or product before, or when it is provided to you, at any reasonable time you ask while you are a customer.
2.5. Terms and Conditions
2.5.1. Plain Language
All written terms and conditions will be made as fair in substance as possible and will set out your applicable rights and responsibilities clearly and in plain language, with legal and technical language used only when necessary. When legal and technical language occurs we will provide an explanation.
2.5.2. Closure
We will not close your account without giving you reasonable prior notice at the last address provided by you to us. However, we reserve the right to protect our interests should we have to act against you for defaulting on your account, or in the event of fraud or suspected fraud on your account, failure to comply with requests for further information (KYC) or failure to comply to demands of laws that govern you (e.g. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or Anti-Money Laundering Policies).

2.6. Keeping you informed of charges
2.6.1. Terms and Conditions:
Occasionally terms and conditions may have to be changed. We will give you reasonable notice of these changes before they become effective such that you will have time to decide if you want to continue with the product or service, taking the charges into account, or if you want to cancel that product or service. If there have been significant changes of terms of conditions over any one year, we will give or send you the new terms and conditions or summary of the changes at the last address provided by you to us.
2.6.2. Charges
If there is a change in the charges for banking services, we will give you reasonable prior notice by either;
- Letter/statement/other personal notice or
- Notice/leaflets in branches, or
- SMS messages; or
- Media advertisement.
2.6.3. Interest Rates
The interest rates, which apply to your accounts, may change from time to time because of the volatile international and local markets. We will endeavour to give you as much notice as is reasonable, of changes in interest rates. However, on occasions, a change in these rates may be applicable straight away where the underlying causes of the change affect the bank’s cost of funds. In such cases notice of any interest rates changes will be given in the public media. We will moreover, give notice of change in any interest rates the next time we communicate to you in writing through a bank statement, SMS (Short Message Services), electronic mail (e-mail)or other communication, and in terms of the requirements of any prevailing legislation.
2.7. Group Marketing
In order to enhance our existing relationships with you we may refer certain information about you to other subsidiaries within our group for marketing purposes. We will make use of SMS (Short Message Services) or electronic mail platforms to advertise products to you. If you wish to discontinue these marketing messages, they will not be sent to you once you “OPT OUT”.

We may also tell you about another company’s services or products and, if you respond positively, you may be contacted directly by that company.
2.7.1. Responsible Credit
We will market and approve loans responsibly in an attempt to ensure that you are not extended financially beyond your means. However, you have an obligation to inform us and keep us informed of all your loans, other financial commitments, income and changes to these, and continuously to act responsibly in all your financial affairs.
2.7.2. Advertising
We will ensure that all advertising and promotional materials are clear, fair, reasonable and not intentionally misleading. We will comply with the appropriate advertising authority guidelines.
2.8. Savings & Investment Accounts
2.8.1. We will take care to give you clear and appropriate information on the different types of savings and investment accounts available from us, help you make an informed choice on the products to suit your needs. We will help you understand how your savings and investment accounts work, including any additional charges or loss of interest for withdrawal or early cancellation. Should you wish to consider the tax implications of your choice of investment, you should seek independent advice from an appropriate consultant qualified to provide this service.
2.9. You should ensure that you manage your savings and financial investments to best advantage. You should make yourself aware of the opportunities for savings and investments which automatically rollover at the end of their term.
2.10. Closure of Bank Branches and ATM Centres
We will give reasonable prior notice of our intention to close any of our bank branches or ATM Centres except in circumstances where immediate closure is required by legal or other compelling reasons.

3. Account Operations
3.1. Running your account
3.1.1. Statements
3.1.1.1. To help you manage your account and check entries on it, we will give you regular account statements. They may be provided monthly, quarterly, or at a minimum annually, unless this is not appropriate for the type of your account. You may ask for account statements to be provided more frequently that normally available on your type of account either in electronic or hard copy format.
3.1.1.2. Statement details may also be available on request on or through electronic banking terminals. You may be charged for statements requested over and above those normally provided. You must ensure that you manage your use of statements to meet your requirements taking into account the costs of providing them.
3.1.1.3. If your statement has an entry, which seems to be wrong, you should tell us within 30 days or as soon as possible so that we can resolve the matter.
3.1.2.
3.1.3. Cards and pins
3.1.3.1. We will issue you a card, or replace one, which has been already issued. A replacement fee may be charged.
3.1.3.2. Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) is strictly confidential. Where a bank supplies it, it will be advised only to you and will be issued separately from your card. You should never disclose your PIN to anyone, including employees of the bank.
3.1.4. PIN – Self-selection
We will tell you if you can select your own PIN and, if so, you will be encouraged to do so carefully. This should make it easier for you to remember your PIN.

3.2. Lending
3.2.1. Financial assessment
All lending will be subject to our assessment of your ability to afford and willingness to repay. This assessment may include:
- Taking into account your income and expenses, including the dependability of your income;
- How you have handled your financial affairs in the past
- Information obtained from credit references and, with your consent, from other appropriate parties, for example employers, other lenders and landlords;
- Information supplied by you, including verification of your identity and the purpose of borrowing;
- Credit assessment techniques, for example, credit scoring;
- Your age
- Any security or collateral provided
- Taking into account your statement of assets and liabilities
3.2.2. Suretyship or Guarantors
If you want us to accept a suretyship, guarantors or any other security from someone for your loans, we will inform you that the surety is entitled by law to your confidential financial information.
- Encourage the surety to take independent legal advice to make sure that they will understand their commitment and the potential consequences of their decision.
- Advise and caution them by giving the surety or other security they may become liable instead of or as well as you;
- Advise them whether it is limited (and the maximum unlimited suretyship value) or unlimited suretyship.
3.3. Foreign Exchange Services
3.3.1. When requested we will give you an explanation of the service, details of the exchange rate, and an explanation of the charges which apply to any foreign exchange transactions which you are about to make. Where this is not possible, we will inform you of the basis on which these will be worked out.
3.3.2. If you wish to transfer money abroad, we will inform you how this is done and will give you, at least, the following information;
- A description of the services and how to use them;
- An explanation of when the money you sent abroad should get there and any reason for potential delays;
- Any commission or charges which you will have to pay, including a warning where a foreign banks’ charges may also have to be paid by the recipient.
3.4. Transfers
3.4.1. We offer a range of products that may allow you to make payment to other accounts within the same bank, domestic interbank and internationally some of which are;
- Real Time Gross Settlements (RTGS)
- Internal transfer -EFT
4. Protection
4.1. Confidentiality
- We will treat all personal information as private and confidential (even when you are no longer a customer), other than in exceptional cases permitted by law,
These are:
- Where we are already legally compelled to do so;
- Where it is in the public interest to disclose;
- Where disclosure is made at your request or with your written consent.
4.2. Credit Reference Agencies
Information about your personal debts owed to us may be disclosed to Credit Reference Agencies where:
- You are in default for more than 60 days;
- We have to compulsorily close your account;
- We have reason to believe that you have perpetrated a fraud on your accounts with us;
- We have issued summons against you for the repayment of amounts owing to us.
Where the amount owed or arrears amount is in dispute, the fact (but not the amount) of this dispute will also be disclosed with a comment that the customer is disputing.

4.3. Protecting Your Accounts
4.3.1. Identification
When you first apply to open an account or obtain a loan, we will inform you what identification we need to prove identity. This is important for your security and may be required by law.
4.3.2. Taking care:
Taking care of your cards, electronic purse, PIN, electronic banking or mobile banking passwords and selected personal information is essential to help prevent fraud and protect your accounts. Please ensure that you:
- You keep your bank records in a safe place;
- Do not allow anyone else to use your card, PIN and/ or password;
- Always take reasonable steps to keep your card safe and your PIN, password or selected personal information.
- Personal information secret at all times; never tell anybody your PIN or password, including any bank employees or security guards;
- Never write down or record your PIN, password or selected personal information;
- Never allow your browser to “remember password” for your internet banking credentials
- Take care and be alert to the risk of muggings and card swapping when using an ATM to do your transactions.
- It is essential that you tell us as soon as you can if you suspect or discover that:
o Your savings book, cards and/or electronic purse has been lost or stolen;
o Someone else knows you PIN, password or your selected personal information.
4.3.3. What to do in the event of a lost cheque book, card or other document of value?
When you report a lost or stolen card or electronic purse, please ensure that we give you a reference to confirm that you have reported it.
Once you have advised us that your card or electronic purse, has been lost or stolen, or that someone else knows your PIN, password or selected personal information, we will take immediate steps to prevent these from being used to access your account.
4.3.4. Electronic purse:
You should treat your electronic purse like cash in a wallet. You may lose any money left in the electronic purse at the time it is stolen, in just the same way as if you lost your wallet.
4.3.5. Cards:
We accept that if it is clear that members of the public are vulnerable to crime if they transact at certain ATMs, we will take reasonable precautions to minimise crime at those ATMs.
You also have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions when using an ATM to minimize the possibility of criminal activities. You are requested to adhere to any notices of caution at ATMs in order to protect yourself against criminal activities at ATMs. In particular, do not let anybody come near you or distract you while, you are at the ATM.
4.3.6. Fraud and gross negligence:
If you act fraudulently you will be liable for all loses. If you act with gross negligence which has caused losses, you may be liable to them. This may apply if you fail to follow safeguards set out in the section 4.3.2 to 4.3.5.
4.3.7. Indemnity:
If the bank is indemnified against any loss that may occur in your account, you will be liable.

5. Difficulties
5.1. Financial Difficulties
We will take care to understand your financial difficulties provided you approach us in good time and in good faith. Should your account go into default, our first step will be to try to contact you to discuss the matter and it is imperative that you inform us at all times of any changes in your residential address and contact telephone numbers.
5.2. How we can help you?
If you find yourself in financial difficulties, you should let us know and in particular respond to communications we send to you as soon as possible, the sooner we discuss your problems, the easier it will be for both of us to find a solution. The more you tell us about your full financial circumstances, the more we may be able to help.
With your co-operation, we will take reasonable steps to develop a plan with you for dealing with your financial difficulties, consistent with both our interests and yours.
5.3. Complaints Handling
5.3.1. Internal procedure:
We have internal procedures for handling complaints fairly and speedily and we will inform you what these are. These may include establishing a set time for an initial acknowledgement to your complaint. We will tell you how long it might take us to respond more fully.
If you wish to make a complaint, we will inform you how to do so, and what to do if you are not happy about the outcome. Our Staff will be ready to help you with any queries.

5.3.2. Adjudicator (Ombudsman)
An adjudication Committee has been established which will hear and investigate complaints at no cost to you and rule or recommend on any complaints which you or your bank may not have been able to resolve. The Committee is entitled to make a ruling based on the law where the law is reasonably certain or a recommendation based on this Code or where the law is uncertain. If the bank declines to accept any recommendation, which the Committee makes, then the Committee may, at their discretion, publish the fact that a recommendation was made and the bank refused to accept it.
All banks, which are members of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, are automatically subject to the jurisdiction of this Committee. Unresolved complaints should be forwarded to the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, 14177 Gunhill Avenue, Gunhill, Harare, Zimbabwe, for onward delivery to the Committee.
5.3.3. Review Body:
This Code is monitored and regularly reviewed by the Bankers Association. Any complaints and suggestions concerning the terms and general operation of the Code can be made in writing to the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, 14177 Gunhill Avenue, Gunhill, Harare..
6. Useful Definitions
These definitions explain the meaning of some of the words and terms used in the Code. They are not precise, legal or technical definitions.
6.1. ATM (Automated Teller Machine):
As cash machine or free standing device dispensing cash which may also provide other information or services to customers who have a card and a PIN, password or other personal identification.
6.2. Basic banking service:
The opening, maintenance and operation of accounts for money transmission by means of a cheque, other payment instrument or savings account.
6.3. Cards
A general term for any plastic card, which may be used to pay for goods and services, to withdraw cash for the purposes of this Code, it excludes electronic purses.
6.4. Compulsory closed account:
This is where the bank at its sole discretion advises the customer that they are no longer prepared to allow the Customer to conduct an account in their books due to the previous and or current conduct of the account.

6.5. Credit reference agencies/Bureau/ Registry:
Organisations which hold information that is of relevance to lenders. Banks may refer to the agencies to assist with various decisions, e.g. whether or not to open an account or provide loans or grant credit. Banks may give information to or seek information from these agencies.
6.6. Credit scoring:
A system banks use to assist in making decisions about granting a customer credit. Credit scoring uses statistical techniques to measure the likelihood that an application for credit (a loan) will be a good credit risk.
6.7. Default:
This is where an agreement between the bank and the customer has collapsed because of failure to adhere to the terms of the contract.
6.8. Electronic purses:
Any card or function of a card which contains real value in the form of electronic money which someone has paid for in advance, some of which can be reloaded with further funds and which can be used for a range of purposes.
6.9. Password
A word of access codes, which the customer has selected to permit him/her, access to a telephone or home banking service and which is also used for identification.
6.10. Personal Customer
A natural person, whether carrying on business or not, who maintains an account or who receives other services from a bank.
6.11. PIN (Personal Identification Number)
A number provided on a strictly confidential basis by a bank to a card holder. Use of this number by a customer will allow the card to be used to withdraw cash and access other services from an Automated Teller Machine or point of sale device.
6.12. Security
A word used to describe items of value such as a mortgage bond registered over a house, share certificates, life policies, etc, which present assets used as support for a loan. Under a secured loan the lender has the right to sell the security if the loan is not paid.
6.13. Selected personal information
A selection of memorable facts and information of a private and personal nature chosen by the customer (the sequence of which is known only by the customer) which can only be used for identification when accessing accounts, usually telephonically.
6.14. Surety-ships being a Guarantor
An undertaking given by a person called the surety promising to pay debts of another if that other person, the principal debtor fails to do so. A surety makes the undertaking at the time that the principal debtor incurs the debt while the guarantor assumes liability after the principal has already defaulted on payment?
6.15 Mortgage bond
A mortgage bond is the preferred right to an asset given as
security for a home loan by a prospective homeowner to a lender, whereby the home buyer is lent enough money to buy a specific property. This agreement is structured over a specific period – usually 20 or 30 years – and usually requires monthly repayments of the debt, at an interest rate that is either flexible or fixed.
6.16 Business days
Any day other than public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.
6.17. Mobile banking;
This is a service that allows you to access your bank account using your mobile phone or similar device.
6.18. SMS alert service
This is a service that sends a notification message to your mobile phone every time there is activity on your account.

6.19. Debit order:
This is an agreement between you and a third party in which you authorise or mandate the third party to collect money from your account for goods or services that the third party provides to you. For example a debit order can be used to pay the premium for your car insurance.
6.20 Statement fee:
You may be charged a fee for the provision of a statement.
6.21 Unpaid debit order fee:
A fee may be charged when you make a payment by debit order and there is not enough money available in your account to make the payment.
6.22 Balance enquiry fee:
The balance enquiry fee is charged when a customer
wants information regarding the actual and available balance/s on his/her account.
6.23 Government Levy:
A statutory levy that is charged on your account everytime there is a transaction.
6.24 Safe custody:
A fire proof means to protect valuables such as jewellery, title deeds, wills and other similarly important documents from theft, fire or any other perils.
6.25 Real Time Gross Settlement:
Transfer systems where transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to another on a "real time" and on "gross" basis. Settlement in "real time" means payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period.
6.26 Electronic funds transfer (EFT):
Is the electronic exchange, transfer of money from one account to another, either within a single financial institution or across multiple institutions, through computer-based systems.

7 OTHER MATTERS
If you wish to discuss any other financial matters related to your account(s) or other banking requirements, please do not hesitate to contact our staff at any convenient time.
Signed…………………………Date………………………………….............

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ)

The following member banks of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe hereby agree to the adoption of the terms of this Code.

1. Afrasia Bank Zimbabwe Limited

Signed……………………………………...Date…………………………………................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- Afrasia Bank Zimbabwe Limited

2. Agribank

Signed………………………………………Date…………………………………................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- Agribank

3. Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited

Signed……………………………………… Date…………………………………...............
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd

4. BancAbc Zimbabwe Limited

Signed…………………………… Date…………………………………....................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – BancAbc Zimbabwe Limited

5. CBZ Bank Limited

Signed………………………… Date…………………………………........................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- CBZ Bank Limited

6. CABS

Signed………………………… Date…………………………………......................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- CABS

7. ECOBANK Zimbabwe Limited

Signed………………………… Date…………………………………....................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER-ECOBANK Zimbabwe Limited

8. FBC Bank Limited

Signed…………………………Date…………………………………..............................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- FBC Bank Limited
9. Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ)

Signed………………………… Date…………………………………........................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- IDBZ

10. MBCA Bank Limited

Signed……………………… Date………………………………….........................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- MBCA Bank

11. Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe Limited

Signed…………………… Date…………………………………................................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe Limited

12. NMB BANK Limited

Signed…………………… Date…………………………………................................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER-NMB Bank Limited

13. SMEDCO

Signed……………………… Date…………………………………................................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- SMEDCO

14. Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited

Signed……………………… Date………………………………….................................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER-Stanbic

15. Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited

Signed…………………………….. Date…………………………………....................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER-Standard Chartered Bank

16. Tetrad Investment Bank

Signed………………………… Date…………………………………............................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- Tetrad Investment Bank

17. ZB Bank Limited

Signed……………………………………Date…………………………………...................
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER- ZB Bank Limited

For the BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF ZIMBABWE

Signed……………………………… Date…………………………………..............
PRESIDENT- BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF ZIMBABWE

Signed……………………………… Date…………………………………....................
VICE PRESIDENT-BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF ZIMBABWE