Depositors stranded as banks run out of cash

DEPOSITORS were stranded on Friday as several banks in the central business district ran out of money, a snap survey by Standardbusiness revealed.


Depositors wait to withdraw money from an ATM at CBZ Kwame Nkrumah branch on Friday. Picture: Tafadzwa Ufumeli

The country has been facing persistent cash shortages on the back of low exports. The introduction of bond notes seem not to have resolved the cash crisis as queues at banking halls remain long.

During the snap survey conducted in the central business district of Harare on Friday, a depositor at one of the CBZ branches in the city said he had spent the entire morning in the queue, only to be served at around 2pm.

“It is bad, I tell you. Yes, they say they have money, but the queue has been moving very slowly and I do not know why. I have been standing in the queue since 5:30am and only reached close to the ATM [automated teller machine] at well after lunch time,” he said.

“They are only allowing a withdrawal limit of $120 but you have to put your card into the ATM twice as you are only allowed to withdraw that amount in two batches of $60. According to them, they are doing that because all the money is in $2 bond notes so the ATM can only handle so much.”

Both Stanbic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank of Zimbabwe were giving out United States dollars, with the former giving a maximum of $50 while the latter was allowing up to $100 depending on what was available in the bank.

At a Cabs branch, a depositor, Mucheche Aaron told Standardbusiness that the bank was allowing a maximum of 160 depositors per day to withdraw money.

“There is no money. Right now I am sitting in the bank but they reached their 160 [people] limit in the morning. They are only allowing a maximum of $100 a day and it is disbursed in bond notes only,” Aaron said.

The People’s Own Savings Bank was giving out a maximum of $100 a day — all in bond notes. – The Standard

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