Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Investment is a key element in the execution of strategy at the Group. A number of projects and initiatives were undertaken during the year under review with significant benefits to the communities in which the Group operates. The initiatives focused on creating a sustainable social and economic impact, empowering communities whilst engendering increased environmental awareness. These tenets have been ingrained in the Group’s code of ethics, its corporate culture including the way in which the Group develops and markets its products and services and deploys its channels and IT infrastructure.
In pursuit of socially sustainable brand impact, the following investment themes were focused on during the period under review:

  • Financial inclusion and financial literacy
  • Information technology and infrastructure development
  • Building Communities through education and sports
  • Sustainable lending and economic development
  • Environmental awareness
  • Health and social welfare
  • Internal brand engagement and wellness

ZB has taken a leading role in answering the Government’s call towards financial inclusion by being one of the financial services group to bring banking to the community through the Pauri Khonapho Agency Banking model. The launch of Pauri Khonapho has empowered individuals, small and medium enterprises and other entrepreneurs who have entered the banking services industry as agents of the Group. Over 11 000 agents are providing financial services countrywide with a substantial concentration in, hitherto, unbanked areas which include high density suburbs, growth points and rural areas. This has reduced the need for customers to travel long distances in order for them to access financial services.

Furthermore, a virtual card, the Pauri card which is linked to a mobile phone and can transact any form of local payments was launched. This facility does not require a person to have a regular bank account and is light-weight on normal account opening requirements. The facility is accessible at a very low cost and does not accrue monthly charges whilst transaction charges are minimal. Extensive promotion of Pauri Khonapho and the Pauri card together with financial literacy road shows were carried out in several market places throughout the country. This programme will continue in line with the goal towards financial literacy and empowerment. The economic benefits are already beginning to manifest with several testimonies on development of entrepreneurship coming through as feedback.

In pursuit of environmentally friendly operations, the Group has invested substantially in technologies that reduce the need to set up brick and mortar structures. It has also minimised the use of paper and related stationery as the move towards completely paperless banking concept gathers momentum. The Group encourages its customers to embrace the eco-friendly paperless approach by making use of its platforms which include mobile banking apps, internet banking and cashless transactions through POS and ATMs. The Group now has a vibrant social media presence that has increased engagement with local and diaspora communities. Plans are at an advanced stage to launch a refreshed website and a customer contact centre designed to further minimise trips to the bank and increase economic activity.

ZBFH aligns itself with goal number 4 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and to promote lifelong learning”. Schools, colleges and universities are the backbone of national development and as such it is important that they are not recognised as customers of the Group, but as development partners.

Accordingly the Group adopted a multi-faceted approach designed to benefit students, teaching and support staff and the educational institutions through promotions, bursaries, donations and other various forms of partnerships. The brand value is to see continuity in schools as they improve their infrastructure and learning support capabilities in a sustainable manner.

A number of schools, colleges and universities have benefited from donations and sponsorships in areas that include building projects, sports tours, information technology and educational tours.The Group runs an education assistance fund for the underprivileged school children with particular focus on children who have lost their parents. A number of students at secondary and tertiary institutions are benefiting from this facility.

The promotion aims to foster financial discipline for schools and fee paying parents/guardians. Opportunities are made available for prizes in cash for maintaining savings or early settlement of fees. These prizes have gone a long way towards infrastructure enhancement projects at participating schools. A number of sports development programmes including sports tours, provincial and national games have also been sponsored in order to cultivate healthy lifestyles and foster discipline in schoolchildren who are the future leaders of tomorrow.

The Group offers the “Trader Account” which is available to players in the ever increasing informal sector. Such players are able to access small loans to start up or enhance their businesses. Unemployed Individuals have been able to leverage on this opportunity, creating success stories in different ways. The Group is motivated by the increasing number of testimonials it continues to receive of growth from humble beginnings in ventures such as brick making, retailing, farming and other businesses. The Group aims to create entrepreneurial hubs designed to mentor the unemployed so that they can start their own ventures. Lending activities and financial products and services have also been designed for small scale gold miners and farmers to assist in the generation of foreign exchange from exports.

In order for the society to fully benefit from the corporate world, there is need to bring in new ideas to the market and the industry at large. The Group supported a number of platforms where these ideas and discussions were being tabled and discussed. This was done through participation in conferences arranged by the following partner institutions:

  •  Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe
  • Association of Certified Chartered Accountants
  • Retailer’s Association Conference and
  • Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries

In order to create environmental awareness at an early age for school going children, the Group ran an essay competition about “Climate Resilience” which was a progression of the 2016 Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS) theme “Climate Resilience, The New Agricultural Frontier”. This will be an annual program in which the Group intends to continue in partnership with ZAS and the Wildlife Environment Management Authority.The Group continues to support Parks and Wildlife Association activities and this year we donated towards the “Save The Rhino” campaign. The Group is committed towards the national re-forestation agenda. To celebrate the attainment of 65 years of operations, 65 trees were planted at ZB Sports Club. The Group pledged to increase this number to 6500 in 2017, planting trees in the communities in which it operates countrywide.

ZB’s key focus in this area is on cancer awareness. In this regard the Group continues to develop its relationship with Kidzcan and to sponsor the Rotary Cancer awareness breakfast on an annual basis. Beginning 2016 members of staff have started to participate in the awareness and fund raising activities, recognising that everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or the other through the experience of relatives, friends, workmates and the community at large. ZB commits to increase its participation in this area which requires more funding in terms of prevention, awareness and cure. The Group participated in the Campaign by the Ministry of Health & Child Care in the eradication of Malaria in the country. ZB also participated in all Mayors’ Cheer Fund events that were held in all the cities and towns that it is represented.

The alignment of brand values with staff personal values is critical in the effort to sustain positive interactions with society at large. In this regard ZB has come up with the ZB Way of doing things that focuses on improving grooming, etiquette and diplomacy. To further enhance skills ZB runs a fully fledged training school. The year 2017 will see heightened engagement programmes designed to enhance the two brands in order to achieve greater effectiveness and further success. Staff wellness and that of their families is also of concern to us. As such the Group provides a staff clinic and has appointed doctors to take care of their health requirements. A wellness program will be launched in 2017 that will empower staff and will also be rolled out to our customers.

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