Barclays slashes individual cash withdrawal limits

HARARE - Barclays Bank Zimbabwe (BBZ) has introduced a $500 maximum withdrawal limit per week for individual depositors as the bank aims to contain the current cash shortages with its depositors, the businessdaily has learnt.

Sources said the bank had put in place measures for individuals to withdraw a maximum of $500 per week as corporates get a maximum of $500 per day.

This comes as BBZ managing director George Guvamatanga recently said the central bank must slash cash withdrawal limits from the current $1 000 per day to $500 per week, arguing that the present $1 000 limit was too liberal, worsening the country’s cash shortages.

“Firstly, who at this gathering has enough to be withdrawing $1 000 per day? I know I do not have that much…

“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,” he said.

Guvamatanga — who is also immediate past Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (Baz) president  — said at the current limit, depositors were withdrawing too much money, a situation that is not helping the liquidity of most banking institutions.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing acute cash shortages since early March — with queues reminiscent of the hyperinflationary period slowly resurfacing as depositors wait to get their hard-earned money from banks.

Presently, the few banks still giving cash are lowering their maximum withdrawal limits by the day, with reputable foreign-owned banks now disbursing as little as $150 per day.

The central bank last month shaved individual maximum withdrawal limits from $5 000 to $1 000, with corporates — who previously did not have a limit — now forced to withdraw a maximum of $1 000 per day.

However, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya is on record saying the central bank was going to look at the $500 weekly withdrawal limit under advisement.

“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.

In the recent weeks, banks have been issuing a cash ration of as little as $50 per day.

Following these cash challenges, most Zimbabweans had turned to supermarkets for cash-backs as withdrawal means, but some supermarkets have shut down the option.

But the Baz president Charity Jinya is on record saying banks were going to operate on a “Know Your Client” basis where deposits were concerned.

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.

Comments (10)

Barclays is a bank that has tell-tell signs of an institution that is going under. If people don't have $1000 to withdraw everyday then why put the limit of $500 per week. George is just acting like a clown!

Choga - 10 June 2016

Hope this also applies to Barclays Staff & Management !

The Future - 10 June 2016

I quit Barclays bank many many years ago. It is one of those useless international banks.

QuitBarclays - 11 June 2016

Barclays bank of zim. was " ring fenced" from the rest of the Barclays group about 10 years ago.

andy - 11 June 2016

That is why I really adore my StanChart. People should have learnt from the 2008 situation.

Charlo - 11 June 2016

A bank is a financial institution that deals in mainly money transactions. A person withdraws what is his/hers and what he deposited into the bank before right???? There is no limit as to how much can be deposit right? There are no limits on deposited amounts right? So why do banks have to limit withdrawal amounts of the dollar as if its their currency and as if Reserve bank of the United States of America Dollar is in Zimbabwe????? Think guys kwete kungo wawata

Comrade - 13 June 2016

This Guva guy is self contradisting himself here. If people have no money as he is saying here. How then is he also saying people are withdrawing too much money?.How are people withdrawing too much money which they don't have?

mbatatisi - 13 June 2016

Sorry I meant self contradicting

Mbatatisi - 13 June 2016

The RBZ placed a maximum of US$1000 per day, but no Barclays knows better than everyone else ryt? This seems like a way of turning away depositors - instead of refusing new account openings given inflated risks of a financial sector collapse, they are just frustrating clients away - a sleepish means of mitigating reputation risks.

Ziglar - 14 June 2016

I moved from Barclays because they are too close to Govt and do not adhere to the lower bank charges tariff. they fleece you big time for every type of transaction and are even too lazy to send you a e-statement. The bank I use now does not charge me anything because I am over 65. Happy days!

Homo Erectus - 20 July 2017

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