NSSA building society to commence ops

HARARE - The National Building Society (NBS) has been given the green light by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to commence operations.

“It is hereby notified that the NBS has been registered and authorised in terms of the Building Societies Act (Chapter 24: 02), to conduct building society operations effective April 27 2016,” the central bank said yesterday.

This means the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) subsidiary, which was scheduled to start operations last month, can now open its doors to the public.

The building society is expected to strengthen the authority’s portfolio by offering affordable housing loans for civil servants and low income earners who often struggle to access affordable loans, according to government.

Nssa applied for a licence for the building society in 2014, but the project has been failing to take off since then due to government red tape.

When government appointed the NBS board in June last year, official reports had suggested that the project would start running in August last year.

But the plan to open the bank was then pushed to March this year.

This is not the first time that the deep-pocketed social security authority is venturing into banking after the institution lost its 84 percent shareholding in Capital Bank (Capital), formerly Renaissance Merchant Bank, when the bank collapsed.

Consequently, investments by the national pensions administrator came under heavy criticism for throwing workers’ contributions down the drain through unsuccessful projects.

The statutory body established in terms of the Nssa Act of 1989 to provide social security, financed housing projects through building societies’ paid-up-permanent-shares between 1994 and 2000.

It developed houses in Chegutu, Shamva, Norton, Kuwadzana in Harare and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo, as well as low-density Woodlands town houses in Bulawayo.

Nssa was mandated to provide housing under the government’s ambitious economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, initially anticipated to be attained through provision of housing stands, strengthening of public, private sector partnerships and recapitalisation of the National Housing and National Guarantee Fund, among others.

Apart from having a shareholding in FBC Holdings, which owns FBC Building Society, Nssa has a 37,79 percent stake in ZB Financial Holdings that wholly owns ZB Bank and ZB Building Society, and has a 10 percent in CBZ Holdings, which is also involved in mortgage lending after amalgamating its banking business with that of Beverley Building Society.

Comments (2)

Some of us got injured at work and we are getting little amount of money as disability pension from NSSA. Are we going to benefit from buliding society in terms of mortgage borrowing..

Aleck Musarurwa - 2 May 2016

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