Interfin creditors meet

HARARE - Creditors of the now-defunct Interfin Bank will next week meet the bank’s liquidator, the Depositors Protection Corporation (DPC), at the Master of the High Court’s offices to finalise compensation.

DPC chief executive John Chikura yesterday told the businessdaily that the last meeting had been confirmed for tomorrow (January 14).

“The creditors will meet with the liquidator next week Thursday on the 14th of January to lodge further claims,” he said.

The DPC chief said the meeting should see creditors submitting “further” proof of claims, in a development set to accelerate the bank’s liquidation.

But, creditors that have already proved their claims before the Master of the High Court will not be required to submit another set of forms.

The meeting will also see the liquidator — represented by his agent Ngoni Kudenga of BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants — discuss the fate of the bank’s assets which were last year ordered to be placed under the hammer to service the bank’s over $70 million debts.

Creditors gave Chikura the green light to accept payments in asset form late last year after indications that the failed bank’s debtors were failing to service their dues in cash due to the biting liquidity crisis in the country.

The creditors also allowed the liquidator to hold on to properties — in cases where he failed to dispose of a property at fair market value — until the next meeting of creditors — which will be next week Thursday.

Interfin, was placed under liquidation at the beginning of 2014 after it failed to secure $50 million in fresh capital during a three-year curatorship despite reported interest from several potential investors

The depositor watchdog institution last year confirmed that it had carried out a forensic investigation on Interfin’s failure which showed that the financial institution had collapsed largely as a result of high levels of non-performing insider loans.

At the time, DPC had said “additional information” was required to finalise the liquidation process.

To the extent that the bank is successfully liquidated, the creditors will try and get as much of the money owed to them as possible as they have first priority to whatever is sold off.

But with Interfin Bank’s creditors owed $155 million, against the bank’s assets estimated at around $39 million, the former unanimously voted at the last creditors’ meeting in June last year to institute legal proceedings against the bank’s directors for the prejudice they suffered.

The bank had been under the management of a curator for two-and-half years before the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said at the close of 2014 that it would not extend the curatorship of the bank, paving way for its liquidation.

As at June 30, 2012 the bank had a negative core capital of $92,9 million while its shareholders failed to inject the required $142,9 million in order to comply with the then minimum capital requirement of $50 million.

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