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Cash shortage hits Royal Bank

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Royal Bank Zimbabwe has been hit by a serious cash shortage that has left clients struggling to access their deposits and salaries.

Hundreds of clients have in the last few days failed to access cash.

NewsDay investigations showed the bank last updated its trading position on February 29 2012. At the end of February, the bank had total assets of $11 911 259 and contingent claims of $1 333 606. Total liabilities stood at $11 911 259 and contingent liabilities were $1 333 000.

A Royal bank client Cosmos Mafambi said he had failed to access his salary since March 31 2012.
I was at the bank since Wednesday until it closed, but failed to access my money.

We were promised that we will get money today (Thursday), but up to now we have still not received money, Mafambi said.

He said he now feared being evicted from his rented accommodation as he had failed to pay rentals timeously.

Mafambi claimed his salary was deposited on March 21, but had failed withdraw any of it.
My family wants to eat and tomorrow (today) is a holiday. How are we going to cope? We had plans to travel for the holiday, he said.

Another account holder Tapfumaneyi Mapfumo was in a similar predicament.

Mapfumo who said he resides in Mutare travelled to Harare hoping the cash shortages were less acute in the capital.

In Mutare there is no Royal Bank. I went to Rusape, but the situation was worse, said Mapfumo Today we have been queuing since morning. Usually they (Royal Bank officials) do not explain anything until 5pm when the bank is just about to close.

However, Royal Bank chief executive officer Jeffrey Mzwimbi tried to downplay the crisis at his bank, saying: We are just facing cash challenges for this time. We have made cash arrangements, but it was delayed (and) its on its way.

We will, however, close once everyone has been served. We will be feeding all the ATMs with cash.

On the trading position, Mzwimbi said the bank only updated 14 days after the end of each month.
Mzwimbi last week said Kenya-based financial services group Commercial Bank of Africa would acquire a 49% stake in the bank that would enable it to meet the minimum capital requirements set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

But, sources yesterday said a Royal Bank official addressed stranded clients and told them the bank was still looking for cash. In the meantime, the bank would only be able to issue a maximum withdrawal of $50.

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