Wednesday, 25 May 2016

CASH CRISIS WORSENS

DEPOSITORS continue to face challenges accessing their cash, with most banks still experiencing long winding queues.



A snap survey in Harare yesterday revealed that most banks were giving depositors a maximum of $200, while others did not have any cash at all to dispense to customers.

NewsDay visited Cabs First Street, where officials referred customers to their Central branch. When the crew arrived at Cabs Central, depositors were also standing in long queues.

One customer said: “I have been coming to this bank since last week and I have been withdrawing my money every day, although in batches of $200, I have not experienced problems.”

POSB Central Avenue did not have queues outside when NewsDay, but depositors were queuing inside the banking hall.

Queues were also witnessed at FBC, as depositors struggled to access their funds at the bank’s various branches.

FBC Holdings chief executive officer, John Mushayavanhu said the cash situation was not peculiar to the financial institution.

“The Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe is working with the central bank to find a lasting solution to the problem. Meanwhile, we are encouraging our customers to utilise the Real Time Gross Settlement payment system, mobile money and point of sale machines,” he said.

“We have introduced cash withdrawal limits to ensure that available cash resources can be accessed by the majority of our customers.”
A source at another bank said the RBZ was failing to provide money to banks when requested.


“We wonder where we are heading to. We don’t have nostro accounts and when we request money from the central bank it does not come,” the banking official said on condition of anonymity.

The central bank has announced plans to introduce bond notes to curb cash shortages. The notes are expected in circulation within one-and-a-half months. RBZ governor, John Mangudya said the economy has too many leakages and the usage of the United States dollar has also exacerbated the situation, as Zimbabwe is now a major attraction for the greenback in the region, as regional currencies continue to soften.

Analysts suggested the introduction of bond notes has resulted in panic withdrawals, as people fear the government was reintroducing the Zimdollar through the back door. newsday

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