Published: 2016 May 22 07:13:08 (881 Views)

...As banks further cut down withdrawal limits


CASH shortages have continued unabated, with some banks putting a cap on withdrawals lower than the $1 000 limit set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) a fortnight ago.


A survey by Standard business on Friday showed that banks were offering an average of between $100 and $300 per withdrawal.


Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic Bank were offering $1 000 and $500 respectively.


The cash crisis has not ended despite an injection of $15 million into the system by RBZ two weeks ago.


Among the banks, Stanbic and Standard Chartered are no longer allowing clients to withdraw money from inside their banking halls for fear depositors might make double withdrawals.


A client who refused to be named said "this started three days ago when we could no longer withdraw money from inside and now have to withdraw a maximum of $500 from the ATMs."


A middle-aged woman who identified herself as Mary and was at a Standard Chartered Bank ATM said:


"They are not allowing people to withdraw from inside the bank for fear of double withdrawals.

"Now we have to stand in long queues to get our money and the maximum withdrawal you can make is $1 000."


As a stimulus package to ease the cash constraints in the economy, RBZ introduced a $200 million African Export-Import Bank backed bond notes facility.


However, the decision to introduce the facility to the market has been met with a negative response from different stakeholders of the economy.


The survey conducted by Standardbusiness revealed that banks’ limits were determined by the availability of cash.


CABS was on Friday giving $150 per withdrawal to its clients, a depositor who was in a queue at the bank’s Causeway/Fourth Street branch in Harare said.


A source at CBZ said: "the maximum withdrawal is $1 000 as per Reserve Bank stipulation, but that is dependent on cash availability. So on average, depending on the cash available, the limit for us has been $200."


A Standardbusiness survey established that only the People’s Own Savings Bank and ZB Bank had increased withdrawals to $300 from $100 while most banks had reduced the withdrawal limits.


ZB Bank clients said they could only get the full $1 000 upon making a special application to the bank.


FBC withdrawal limits flactuated between $100 and $200.


"The maximum I got from FBC Bank is $100. You cannot withdraw anything higher than that. The measures announced by RBZ recently are just words," a man who only identified himself as Frank said.


RBZ governor John Mangudya has urged the banking public to resort to plastic money, as a way of reducing the demand for cash.


The government has also drafted a diaspora policy, which will provide guidelines to tap into foreign remittances that are estimated to be about $1,8 billion per annum.


- The Standard
Tags: RBZ, Cash, Banks, Zimbabwe,

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