Zim depositors may face a gloomy festive season

Zim depositors may face a gloomy festive season
Published: 18 December 2013
Following the chaos that occurred at Allied Bank recently this week speculators are of the view that struggling banks depositors may face a gloomy festive season as some local banks reel under a biting liquidity crunch that has seen the return of long queues and the re-imposition of unpopular cash withdrawal limits.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe earlier this month cancelled the licence of Trust Bank, over allegations of abuse of depositors' funds and violation of banking laws. This sparked a fresh round of depositor anxiety over the banking sector.

Last year saw the cancellation of the licences of two banks, Interfin and Genesis Investment.

On Monday, soldiers assaulted a bank official at Allied Bank in  Harare, and there was a stampede at Metbank's Bulawayo branch.

Earlier this month, a bank manager at Metbank's Mutare branch had to be taken into police custody after angry depositors demanded mob justice.

A bank official at Metbank said on Tuesday: "We are not limiting withdrawals for teachers, but for other clients. It all depends on our allocation. The situation is really bad for the time being."

Stephen Gwasira, Allied Bank CE, said the incident at its Harare branch was "unfortunate". The bank was making "aggressive efforts to address the liquidity constraints".

Economic commentator Farai Murambiwa said volatility in the banking sector was a direct consequence of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's failure to fulfil its function as lender of last resort.

- BH24-BusinessDaylive
Tags: Banks, Liquidity,


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