Mozambique: 'Resident Inspector' Appointed for Standard Bank

Maputo — The Bank of Mozambique has appointed a senior member of its staff, Zaitina Raul Chitaule, as resident inspector of Standard Bank, following the recent decision to suspend this bank from all foreign currency operations.

According to a statement from the central bank, Chilaule's tasks will include monitoring the plan of action drawn up by the Standard Bank shareholders and "to follow and analyse developments in the bank's system of governance and internal control". She will attend the relevant meetings of the bank's management bodies.

The statement from the Bank of Mozambique added that the Standard Bank shareholders "are continuing to collaborate in order to implement the plan of action to correct the irregularities identified". The central bank added that "all operations within the banking system are taking place normally".

There can be little doubt that Chilaule will effectively be running the bank, which is mostly owned by South African capital, at least until a definitive new Chief Executive Officer can be appointed.

After an inspection of Standard Bank's activities, the Bank of Mozambique accused it of a range of offences, including fraudulent manipulation of the exchange rate. In addition to suspension from trading in foreign currency, heavy fines were imposed on the bank and on two of its senior officials, CEO Chukwuma Nwokocha, and the director of corporate and investment banking, Domingos Madeira. Nwokocha and Madeira were also banned from holding office in any bank for the next six years.

According to the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique", Standard Bank has issued a statement to calm its clients and partners, assuring them that it has sufficient financial solidity and stability to continue all its operations on the Mozambican banking market, with the exception of those involving foreign currency transactions.

The bank added that it is finalizing the appointments of a new CEO and director of corporate banking to replace Nwokocha and Madeira.

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