23 January 2018
   
ZRP ‘Idiot’ Charamba loses cop insult case
Gukurahundi: Blame govt, not me – says ED
SA: Jazz legend Hugh Masekela dies
Cholera: Angry minister blasts city councils
Mzembi challenges arrest; quits politics
Mudzuri: Amnesty for MDC-T cop murder 3
Mnangagwa: Grace mentally unstable
ZESA gave Chivayo $7m, not $5m: Parly
MORE NEWS
Govt reduces excise duty on fuel
Filthy 5-Star hotels: Economy blamed
MORE BUSINESS
‘Am I African’ explores Zim's race conflict
Gafa’s Epworth concert draws thousands
MORE SHOWBIZ
Billiat might still leave: Sundowns coach
Katsande: Chiefs show championship mentality
MORE SPORTS
Mnangagwa’s ‘New’ Zim merits support
Zhuwao: kleptocracy and EDiots in Davos
MORE OPINION
 
Mnangagwa off to Davos empty handed
Economy: the need for a paradigm shift
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Bankers confess to greed at Catholic business meeting  
31/05/2016 00:00:00
by The Source
 
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe managing director George Guvamatanga
 
RELATED STORIES
How Zim banks rob you through ATMs
Mobile money growth threatens banks
Two firms foreign acquire MicroKing
ZB back to black with $9m profit
Min: Govt pushes financial inclusion
Ex-Steward Bank workers picket bank
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe at a glance
Banks scramble to escape US fines
CBZ after-tax profit up 7pct to $35m
Bank refutes claims its collapsing
No agreement on Yuan use yet, central bank
RBZ to 'snoop' into people's accounts
Bank workers stage UK embassy protest

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s bankers, long criticised for the high bank charges often cited as obstacles to promoting savings and use of plastic money, on Tuesday confessed to overcharging their customers.

The confession, appropriately came at a funding raising business meeting hosted by the Roman Catholic Church.

The controversial bond notes, externalisation and cash shortages were among the topical issues the meeting discussed, but it came as a surprise to most guests when top bankers, in a rare public admission, chastised each other while admitting that current bank charges were against efforts to promote financial inclusion.

Zimbabwe’s banking institutions make the bulk of their profits from bank charges when ordinarily, they are supposed to be making money from interest income, which is their core business. Lending has declined as the economy stalled and defaults rose.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has had to intervene and force the banks to reduce charges and interest rates on loans.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe managing director, George Guvamatanga, who said he is Catholic, was the first “come clean,” admitting that charges for using plastic money were too high.

In the face of current cash shortages, the public has been encouraged to swipe at point of sale machines.However, most prefer cash due to the high charges levied for swiping.

“We are encouraging everyone to swipe but at the moment the challenge is thatthe cost of swiping is too high, and as bankers in this room we certainly need to look at that urgently,” said Guvamatanga.

“It does not make sense to walk in to buy Ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory drug) for $2, you swipe and then you are charged (an additional) $2.50. It does not make sense to me as a banker. It does not make sense, my fellow bankers.”

He said the minimum of $10 that bankscharge for Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions was “ridiculous.”

“When we say customers must use RTGS, it does not make sense when we charge them $10. That is ridiculous. This is also targeted at the Barclays stable. That $10 is too much,” Guvamatangasaid to applause.

Steward Bank chief executive, Lance Mambondiani, also took to the podium having “seen the light.”

“I share your outrage, it does not make sense that members of the public are charged the extortionate amounts that are charged by some banks, including ourselves. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.



Advertisement

Mambondiani announced that Steward Bank, a subsidiary of mobile operator Econet Wireless, would effective Wednesday reduce RTGS charges by 50 percent.

“What I want to say to my colleague George (Guvamatanga) is you need to put your money where your mouth is,” he said, challenging Barclays Bank to also slash bank charges.

The Steward Bank boss challenged the RBZto reduce the $2,80that it charges banks for processing each RTGS transaction.

“Why does the Reserve Bank, that is trying to promote use of plastic money, impose a residual fee of $2,80 as a minimum charge?” Mambondiani queried.

“Bankers need to review their charges in as much as the central bank that is providing that platform needs to review its owncharges. We need to make sure that we carry the burden together.”

Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe chief executive, Thomas Sakala criticised bankers for the high charges, which he said were used to finance perks for executives.

Banks have long argued that investing in the infrastructure required to allow efficient electronic payments will cost money, and have unsuccessfully pleaded with government to share the burden.


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark

 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker