THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has slashed bank withdrawal charges to between one percent and 1,25 percent of amounts withdrawn on Automated Teller Machine (ATMs) and Over the Counter (OTC).
In a statement last night, the RBZ said in order to align cash withdrawal charges to amount withdrawn, a proportional pricing model has been adopted to replace the current fixed charges. The applicable charges for cash withdrawal is a maximum of one percent and 1,25 percent of amount withdrawn for ATM and OTC.
Cash shortages besetting the economy, had resulted in depositors being charged over US$30 on current weekly withdrawal limits. Banks were previously charging from US$2,50 for ATM withdrawals and from US$5,50 for OTC withdrawals, a situation which most analyst expect will lead to extraordinary profits in the year to December.
Under the new pricing structure, to withdraw US$20 a charge of 20c shall apply on the ATM and US$0,25c OTC, US$50 will attract US$0,50c and US$0,63c and $100 will be charged US$1 and US$1,25. The central bank said it would continue to monitor the cost of bank charges to ensure access to affordable banking services and at the same time promote the use of plastic money.
The issue of 15 percent lending rates from banks, coupled with shorter lending periods, also continues to negatively impact on the competitiveness of borrower businesses.
However, the Reserve Bank said it would continue to monitor the levels of lending rates being charged by banking institutions through their on-going supervisory activities in liaison with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.