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Banks to be compelled to liston ZSE: Biti
20/05/2013 00:00:00
by NewZiana
 
Tackling bank failure ... Tendai Biti
 
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THE government will enact laws requiring all banks to list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to help them raise capital, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said.

Addressing journalists recently, Minister Biti said the proposed laws are meant to help prevent future bank failures in the country.

Several banks have in recent years collapsed due to under-capitalisation and mismanagement. A number are currently under curatorship while there are reports that some banks are facing collapse.

“Hopefully, the regulations will be gazetted this Friday to compel banks to list on the stock exchange in the next two years,” Biti said.

Only seven banks — Barclays, ZB, NMB, Kingdom, BancABC, FBC and CBZ — are currently listed on the stock exchange.

Biti said recent cases of bank failures had eroded customer confidence in the sector, resulting in most people and businesses keeping their money at home.

He added that the proposed laws will also compel banks to make their services more accessible for rural people.

“There is no financial inclusion in Zimbabwe. Only 19 percent of Zimbabweans are banked and one brick and mortar branch is serving 77 000 people. That’s not good enough,” he said.

Exorbitant bank charges that were levied by banks as well as interest rates on deposits have also dented the public confidence in the banking sector.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides guidelines for the charging of interest rate margins and bank charges.

Under the agreement, banks are required to charge up to 0,5 percent of cash withdrawal amount subject to minimum charge of US$2,50 while ledger fees, maintenance and service fees will cost up to US$4 per account.

Automated teller machines now attract a withdrawal fee of US$2 while point-of-sale machines will attract a fee of between 10c and 50c and no charges will be levied on cash deposits.



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