Banking System in Zimbabwe Collapsing?

Morgan Tsvangirai chats to clients at Stanbic Bank during last year's cash shortages. Stanbic appears now to be one of the worst banks in Zimbabwe, destroying confidence in the banking system by taking more than three days to do an electronic transfer that should be instant, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

For three days now, Stanbic Bank in Zimbabwe (part of the Standard Bank of South Africa Group) has been failing to make an electronic transfer of funds from a funded account at their bank to the payee at Barclays Bank.

An electronic transfer is supposed to be instant or at worst to be effected overnight.

But three days later, Stanbic are still to make the payment.

There is no explanation about why this is so. The acount from which they should transfer the money is funded, they accepted the order and stamped it.

Which begs the question: What is Stanbic doing with people's money held by them?

It also raises other questions. Such as: With a banking system so utterly unreliable and inefficient, what makes the government of Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe think that anyone would want to invest in this country.

This is a company account we are talking about, by the way. And we all know that businesses have lead times and deadlines to meet in order to pay for supplies and to continue functioning. Something like this would destroy their credibility with their suppliers and could well put them out of business.

If this is the way the banking system in Zimbabwe in now operating, then government can forget about attracting investments into Zimbabwe.

Quite apart from the crumbling infrastructure, investors will also have to deal with this?

Stanbic Bank in Zimbabwe appears to be the worst bank when it comes to this. But you will also recall that I recently had to complain about another bank that was charging US1$109 to clear a cheque, regardless of the cheque's value.

So this appears to be the way in which banks do business in Zimbabwe.

Of course, it destroys confidence in the banking system. This is why so few people are banking their US dollars (now the official currency of Zimbabwe). What it means is that these banks will have to continue charging exhorbitant fees in order to turn a profit.

Soon, companies will also start shunning Zimbabwe banks and keeping money in their safes.

What is frightening is that Stanbic appears to think there is nothing wrong with what they are doing.

As of writing this, the payee whose money Stanbic are sitting on has now had to make arrangement to be paid cash by the company that owes them.

And where is Gideon Gono, who is supposed to oversee banks, while all this happening? He is busy fighting political battles and rearing chickens!!


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