Shareholders ignorance leaves CRDB with over 7bn/ uncollected dividend

07Nov 2019
Correspondent
The Guardian
Shareholders ignorance leaves CRDB with over 7bn/ uncollected dividend

MWANA Ambilikile is a CRDB Bank Plc’s shareholder by default. When his grandfather died in over five years ago, he inherited his estate which include millions worth of CRDB shares but only posses the certificate.

CRDB Board Chairman, Ally Laay addressing shareholders during last year annual general meeting.

“I don’t even know where to start from because my grandfather bought the shares over a decade ago while doing business in Iringa Municipality,” he said after learning that he might be sitting on a fortune worth millions of shillings.

Ambilikile who grew up with his grandees after losing his father while an infant, is semi literate having completed primary school at his home village of Ilembula in Njombe region. “I know that my grandfather left some money at CRDB Bank but my efforts to get access to the cash have hit snag because of inheritance bureaucracy at primary courts.

Hundreds of thousands of CRDB shareholders can’t access dividend worth billions which the bank has been paying since 1997 when it first made profit. Many of the shareholders can’t access their cash for various reasons including ignorance.

CRDB Group’s Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela to make a passionate plea with the bank’s shareholders to collect their dividend pay cheques which lie idle at various branches countrywide.

“We have over 7bn/- in uncollected dividend by absentee shareholders whose whereabouts we don’t know as a bank,” Nsekela said last week while announcing results of the bank for year ending September 2019.

“We urge our shareholders or their representatives to come forward and claim their dividend pay cheques because after sometimes we will have to remit the cash to the Central Bank as regulations stipulate,” Nsekela who is also Tanzania Bankers Association Chairman noted.

The CRDB Groups chief said the massive dividend has accumulated over the years because the beneficiaries have not been collecting their annual dividend payment hence the massive backlog which will soon find its way to Bank of Tanzania.

“When we remit this to the Central Bank as regulations require, it will be an uphill task to reclaim the cash once a shareholder comes forward,” Nsekela warned while declaring that the 2019 dividend which is due early next year will likely be more than last year because of the impressive performance made.

According to the bank’s report for the period, net profit increased by 76 percent to 92.16bn/- compared to 52.25bn/- made during a corresponding period last year. Nsekela who has returned the money minting massive bank since taking over in October last year, is optimistic that the 2019 profit will be huge hence justifying bigger dividend payment.

The CRDB chief further stated that his management will continue focusing on trade financing because it is an area of rapid growth as demand for the product in the market is on growth path thanks to President John Magufuli’s administration’s focus on infrastructure development.

“We are convinced that this area of trade financing is of significance and will continue to invest heavily in this segment,” Nsekela added while emphasising that another area of focus remains financing SMEs.

Earlier this year, CRDB paired with United Bank for Africa to give a guarantee of U$730 million to the over 2,000 megawatts Rufiji hydro Power Project being undertaken by Egyptian Arab Contractors Limited and El Sewady Electric Company Elsewedy Electric with state power giant, Tanesco as client.

Among the highlights of the period include: the bank’s balance sheet which grew by 5 percent to 6.2trn/- from 5.9trn/- reported during the period last year; loan portfolio slightly grew by 2.5 percent to 3.25trn/- while deposits increased by 7 percent to 4.8trn/-. “Net interest income increased by 22 percent year on year to reach 389.66bn/- from 319.09bn/- reported in September 2018," Nsekela added. 

The Tier 1 commercial bank continued to command a 22 percent market share of industry deposits owing to its robust network of 240 branches, 551 ATMs, over 2,400 Point of Sales (POS) terminals and 11,612 wakalas who increased by a whopping 7,260 year on year.

“Our focus on operational efficiency and sales optimization is paying off. We have embarked on the digitalization journey while adhering to good governance, reduce operational costs, and improve our service delivery. As you can see, our earnings from credit books, trade finance, and foreign currency dealings have significantly increased, showing our commitment to serving each segment in the market," the youthful CRDB boss added.

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