CHAOS rocked ZB Bank branches in most parts of the country between Friday and yesterday, as depositors refused to leave banking halls after failing to get their cash from both inside the bank and at its automated teller machines (ATMs).
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The cash shortage coincided with high demand for money, as it was month end, with artisanal miners and salaried depositors seeking to withdraw their payments.
ZB Holdings chief executive officer, Ron Mutandagayi yesterday declined to comment on the issue referring all questions to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya.
“I cannot comment, it is a macro situation, speak to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Mangudya said he was aware of the situation and it had since been resolved.
“The demand for cash was high due to civil servants’ salaries and also payment for artisanal miners, which is done through ZB Bank, as they have a working arrangement. We have since given them [the bank] the money after the matter was brought to our attention,” he said.
Mangudya said the cash shortage had been worsened by the limited circulation of money in the economy.
A source in the banking sector blamed RBZ for causing the cash shortages at ZB Bank.
“The story is that the RBZ used cash to pay nostro accounts instead of Treasury Bills that they usually use, thus causing the cash shortage. It affected ZB Bank mostly because it is unable to bring in money from the United States because of sanctions,” the source said.
Nostro accounts are accounts held in a foreign country by a domestic bank, denominated in the currency of that country. These accounts are used to help facilitate foreign exchange and trade transactions.
The bank was reportedly given $1 million by RBZ yesterday.