'Limit cash withdrawals to $500 per week'

HARARE - Zimbabwean banks are seeking approval from the Central Bank to slash cash withdrawal limits to $500 per week in an effort to stem the worsening cash crisis.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe managing director George Guvamatanga told a Catholic Archdiocese of Harare-organised meeting in Harare yesterday that the present cash limit was unsustainable.

Despite claiming the daily cash withdrawal limit is $1 000, most international banks have been limiting withdrawals to $500, with some even reducing daily limits to $300 while indigenous banks are disbursing as little as $20 per day..

“...I have a client who has been withdrawing $1 000 everyday since the new limit was imposed,” Guvamatanga said. “To date, the client has withdrawn $11 000 and still counting. In light of such situations, I therefore call upon the central bank to impose a $500 weekly withdrawal limit. The average Zimbabwean deposit is $374 so this limit would be sufficient.”

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said he would look into the request.

“We will consider the $500 weekly limit as a proposal. When we put in place the $1 000 limits, we had taken into consideration factors like the country’s present Point of Sale (Pos) network, which is still poor,” Mangudya said.

This comes as bankers are facing chaos at bank counters as alarmed depositors withdraw funds from accounts. Following the recent cash challenges, most Zimbabweans had turned to supermarkets for cash-backs as a withdrawal means, but some supermarkets have shut down the option.

Desperate for cash, Zimbabwe’s financial institutions are now even pleading with deep-pocketed clients to supply them with cash in a move aimed at replenishing their nostro accounts as the country continues to grapple with a biting liquidity crunch.

Government has been encouraging the use of plastic money in view of the cash shortages, but Guvamatanga said the central bank had to regulate the fees governing Pos machines.

“If as a country we are serious about the use of plastic money something needs to be done about the fees. At $2,50 in charges, swiping for a $2 purchase makes very little sense.

“As bankers, we are looking into this, even the $10 Real Time Gross Settlement becomes ridiculous, it is just too much,” Guvamatanga said.

Comments (26)

Mr Guvamatanga, we understand that there is a cash crisis but now instead of giving me the $500 once I have to come to your banking hall 5 times per week to get $100 per day and the bank charges $5 for every transaction and per week you get $25 from my account. Are you being fair?

Maponga James - 1 June 2016

Mr Guvamatanga, you ignore the fact that the money belongs to me, and not your Bank. I have worked for it and paid taxes on it. You will not even credit me with any interest, even though you will use my money.

The Future - 1 June 2016

Guvamatanga has been smoking too much marijuana. $500 weekly withdrawal translates to $71 per day. Given that most of Zim is in the informal sector, it means people will not make any transactions exceeding $71. That's tragic. In any case, whose money is it?

Aspinaz Garwe - 1 June 2016

guvamatanga what are yu smoking?i propose a maximum $100 dollar withdrwal a week,the majority of people in formal employment dont earn more than $500 so where is the money they are withdrawing coming from?is it proceeds from illicit deals?get a grasp of the environment guvamatanga,are yu as bankers assisting individuals launder money by not scrutinising deposits?as an employer if am paying my workers an average of five hundred dollars a month it surprises me that the banks want a limit of $2000 a month,where are these people getting the money

truth - 1 June 2016

its surprising for a learned banker to say such a statement. When I deposited over 11000 you never put a cap on it. Now that I want to withdraw it you want to put a cap. I pay rentals to my landlord who needs 750 per month, some retired fellow in the rural areas whom you chased from mainstream banking because of punitive charges and he lost his pensions due to hyperinflation so I will need 2 weeks to get rentals that's absurd. im sure there is not even one POS in Mutiusinazita where he can access his money. First talk the talk put the necessary infrastructure all over lower bank charges for these transactions and we can start talking. Otherwise all the cash income is not coming to your stupid banks....and so u know we will continue withdrawing till you got no deposits to prey on.Capitalist bankers!

phil - 1 June 2016

Limiting depositors cash , will definitely is a wrong move as it discourage depositors and investments. It worsens the cash crisis

do - 1 June 2016

mangudya,guvamatanga,munyeza,chanakira,gono, are all products of the shona grand plan of 1979 to swell all institutions of the country with shonas but the architects overlooked competency and capacity that is what has messed this country,when the head of a bankers associations rambles like the platformist @sa manyika,then yu know the country is doomed,brace yourself fellow citizens

jojo - 1 June 2016

correct,we as shonas have little understanding of economics,we thrive in flea markets and political violence,abductions,fraud etc

analyst - 1 June 2016

I lost faith when banks were stopped from settling foreign invoices.it means banning imports.and imports is the commodity that allowed currency to circulate here.The trade business we have is imports .90 pc of cash circulating is imports.So it takes little thinking to know that banning imports is banning the cash also.90pc of goods in shops is imports.At least allow banks to fill up their nostro accounts n caryon settling invoices as before.If not ,the shops will just have to keep the cash n fly out to settle their invoices,wthout local banks.Extenalisation is back,brot by RBZ.Yu cant take Zimbos out of business,they improvise.So RBZ plse think again on the isue of foreign payments.Leave it to banks for now till yu have yo money in order.Banning things is stone age methods.

viola gwena - 1 June 2016

What banks are calling for will only back fire and this time against them. Who will not think of keeping his or her money in a pillow at home where it does not attract charges and where you can have it anytime you want without anyone limiting you.

Tete Va Viola Ngwena - 1 June 2016

What banks are calling for will only back fire and this time against them. Who will not think of keeping his or her money in a pillow at home where it does not attract charges and where you can have it anytime you want without anyone limiting you.

Tete Va Viola Ngwena - 1 June 2016

this is the beginning of collapse of banking sector. Do you think that banker will bank in zim again.

ab - 1 June 2016

If you sell goods and get bond notes where will you get the USD to restock outside Zim. Pliz explain me how the whole set up works. Even if RBZ gives you who is that faithfull to use the money for restocking and restocking only.

ROB - 1 June 2016

Guvamatanga sounds like a stone age banker, Guvamatanga wants us to bank money and in return he want to ban us from withdrawing the cash that we initially banked, I think it is high time the people of Zimbabwe start banking their cash under their pillows, if we continue to have bankers like guvamatanga. If you can not give me my $11,000.00 that I banked and advocating for the RBZ to put a cap at $500.00 per week, then Guavatamatanga should also instruct his bank to put a cap on Deposits at $500.00 per week so the rest of cash circulate out side the banking system and you will not see a single person coming to the bank for withdrawals

Kufahakuurayi - 1 June 2016

Why not close down shop kana zvisingachakuitirei? Pliz do not waste our time muchiita semune zvamurikugadzirisa when actually you are organizing some legal theft kubira vanhu madeposits avo. Ipai vanhu mari dzavo and claim the missing 15bln ne 7m from the people you are trying to serve. Stop pretending.

nyexman - 1 June 2016

This is stone-age mentality! A demand deposit by definition means that I should get my money from the bank upon demand, as long there is money in my account. After all its my money. I should decide how much and when to withdraw. If this daft idea is implemented, then banks can forget about new deposits coming in. Surprisingly, such a brain-dead idea comes from a banker...the mind boggles.

Doug Mtshaka - 1 June 2016

We can mention all sorts of solutions,but they are only stop gap measures.The real problem lies with the economy and the economy has been raped to pulp by the current regime,so for as long as this current thieving and corrupt government is with us no amount of solution will change the situation that we find ourselves in.infact the situation is set to worsen beyond what we experienced in 2008.The country is not exporting anything worthwhile,so we are not generating any forex.Some bank employees ar now cashing on this sad situation.If one wants to withdraw,say $10 000 you have to complete a wdl slip of $10 800 and they give you $10 000 ,they pocket 800 dollars.it has just started now.You can imagine the magnitude of corruption that will be with us when the bond notes are in circulation.Tichati baba nemuridzo

Janana Bikaz wa Mutharika - 1 June 2016

GET LOST, it's our hard earned money, you behave like you doing me a favor by giving me what is MINE.

Ethan - 1 June 2016

Introduction of bond notes was ill timed, no one has faith in the financial institutions any more.In the first place, it coincided with shortage of cash. Secondly, prior to that, Zhuwawo threatened to close or cancel licenses of foreign owed banks he perceived to have not complied with the xenophobic and extortionist law disguised as Indigenisation and Empowerment Act.Policy inconsistences and clashes by members of the national executive in the public domain has among other negative factors contributed immensely to the current crisis.

Gen. Spinola - 1 June 2016

looking at the zim situation, i feel as if i am watching a movie with the actor(zimbabweans) suffering in the wilderness were he/she is alone, in rain, soaked in muddy water and crying for help with a trembling & sunken voice that can't reach out to the outer world because of thundering rain and a network of a diabolic meshed & inextricably interwooven hanging plants housing evil squacking birds. its sad & horrific to note that i will not be dreaming as i miss the relief that comes from waking from this slumber-like imaginary video. zim is a horrifying hellhole!

SaManyika Chaiye - 2 June 2016

Ma yuwani anongoita tikaatyraya

liki.wiki - 2 June 2016

externalization yemayuan is not significant than usd.

liki.wiki - 2 June 2016

@samanyika,what hellhole yu asshole

jojo - 2 June 2016

@jojo; farmwork has turned you into an animal that knows no difference btwin pain & comfort. you farmer's boy! stay kona emzanzi because the pittance from your baas will not afford yu busfare. your hate for the shona pple is the major hindrance to the tribal dynasty that yu so wish for. yu will grapple with yo self pontificated ego of belonging to a minority tribe that eclipse yo little perforated brain much to yo very disadvantage. kick yoself or pull yo hair off until yu wake up and realise that current political dynamics has moved from 18th century raids of the ndebele/shona wars. let me stop before yu lose comprehension as you are more akin to domestic farm animals than humans. yu assegai & knob carrier wielding herdboy. boarder jumper!!!

SaManyika Chaiye - 2 June 2016

@jojo if u cant handle the truth go and read The Herald

Chegorerino - 3 June 2016

Its a very good idea to have limits for withdrawals. Banks should provide lots of visa/debits cards to all shops even use online payment for paying motor tax. Kumbandhara mari kuenda kutown kuti ubhandara rent no. you can do bank transfers online that's whats is needed. Bank charges should be reduced to 20/40 cents per transaction to encourage banking.

moyo - 3 June 2016

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