‘Compensate for lost Zimdollar savings to restore confidence’

via ‘Compensate for lost Zimdollar savings to restore confidence’ March 17, 2014 NewsDay ex The Source

THE government needs to compensate Zimbabweans who lost their life savings and pensions when it adopted foreign currencies in 2009 to replace a collapsed local unit, if confidence in the banking sector is to be restored, an industry official said on Friday.

Presenting oral evidence to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment, Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president George Guvamatanga said conflicting political statements on whether the Zimbabwe dollar would be reintroduced also undermined public confidence in banks.
“The general confidence in the banking sector at the moment is low. Those people who had Zimbabwe dollar balances when we moved to the US dollar should get their money,” he said.

He said there was need to set a rate of exchange to convert the money “so that we make it clear to our people that you don’t take your money into a bank and you wake up tomorrow and you don’t find it”.

The government says it has set aside $20 million to “demonetise” Zimbabwe dollar bank balances held at the time the country effectively dollarised in February 2009.
Referring to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s campaign pledge on the reintroduction of the local currency ahead of last year’s elections, Guvamatanga said: “When you then go to rallies and people say we don’t have United States dollars and you tell the same people that we will bring the Zimbabwe dollar tomorrow, the same people will not take their money to the bank because they are now afraid (to lose their money).”

Guvamatanga, who is the managing director of Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, said it was difficult to change the negative perceptions that the local currency could return despite government assurances that it had no such plans in the short-term.

“Yes, honourable chairman, for now people are afraid of the Zimbabwe dollar,” he said.

Guvamatanga admitted that BAZ had also failed to educate depositors about the different types of accounts and how to bank cheaper as most people were shunning banks due to high charges.

“We also take the blame, honourable chair, we have done nothing as Bankers’ Association to educate the public, something that we are now starting to correct,” he said.

Guvamatanga said the association was carrying out a study, to be completed by mid-June, to establish how much money was circulating outside the banking sector.
He attributed high bank fees to the charges accrued to transport cash from the United States, including its security, but said there was need to come up with a model that allows bankers to recoup their costs.

Responding to questions on some indigenous banks that were failing to pay depositors their money, Guvamatanga said those banks were breaking the law, but also called on the government to restore the Reserve Bank’s lender of last resort role to provide liquidity in the market.

On why there were no new local players in the sector, Guvamatanga attributed this to the high capital requirements of $100 million which many institutions could not afford. —The Source



  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 8 years ago

    We all lost money come the crunch.Who took our money was Zanu. Since they plundered our wealth they must pay back. I am sure the bankers know who took the peoples money . By Law money taken without peoples consent is FRAUD. Already a crime has been committed .Lets do less talking Mr Banker and get your act together by prosecuting these bandits.

    • comment-avatar
      kutongwa nonjazi 8 years ago

      Nyoni don’t be suprised when u hear that yapera nevakamboiba in the first place. They will be in front of the queue.

  • comment-avatar
    Reverend 8 years ago

    20Mill ait gonna cut it and what am I going to get for my 50000000000000000000 I have in my account? Can I buy an icecream with that? Small cone maybe!!!

  • comment-avatar

    The only way to do it is to get back all the ill-gotten gains from all the ZANU(PF)thieves, then use that money to get people working to rebuild the economy.

  • comment-avatar
    loveness 8 years ago

    Guys lets just stop this nonsense.the same fat cats who destroyed our currency are going to benefit from this 20mil.knowing these guys they are already inflating their balances.everyone lost.let sleeping dogs lie.they wiill take all the money snd worsen the liquidity crisis.

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Zanu thieves, plunderers, plllagers,treasonous malcontents.

  • comment-avatar

    Try it & you will regret. Trust me you fooled people by taking their hard earned money & you think you will get away with murder. I lost a lot & don’t want their money give it to those hungry thugs.