Bankers call for new withdrawal limits


BANKERS have called on government to slash withdrawal limits further to a weekly maximum of $500, while reducing transaction charges to promote plastic money and ease the debilitating cash crisis.



Reducing withdrawal limits to $500 a week translates to a daily average of $71,42, compared to the current official daily maximum of $1 000.

Speaking at a Archdiocese of Harare Social Communications breakfast meeting yesterday, top banker George Guvamatanga said the $1 000 daily withdrawals were forcing banks to tap into their nostro accounts, effectively exacerbating the cash crisis as depositors keep emptying their accounts.

“We use money from our offshore accounts and this is what we are supposed to use as a country to import fuel, grain, school fees and so on. If we keep on using these nostro balances to bring in the United States dollars, which are disappearing, then we need a different solution,” Guvamatanga said at the meeting.

“I suggest to my fellow bankers that we introduce a weekly withdrawal limit. This is because the average monthly deposits per individual, be it salaries, is $374 in the banking sector, so I think that a weekly withdrawal limit of $500 will be adequate for day-to-day transactions,” added Guvamatanga, who is also Barclays Zimbabwe managing director.

Speaking at the same event, Steward Bank chief executive officer Lance Mambondiani said bank charges must be reduced in order to stimulate the use of electronic and plastic money.

“It does not make sense that members of the public are charged the extortionist rates that are charged by some banks including ourselves. I recently discovered there is a residual charge on the RTGS minimum payment by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe of $2,50. If we are serious about moving people from cash to plastic money or RTGS, bankers need to review their charges,” Mambondiani said before making a commitment to reduce RTGS charges for Steward Bank customers by as much as 50% by today.

Bank queues have been on the rise in recent weeks following the new measures introduced on May 5 including an introduction of bond notes and a 5% incentive to exporters, that has sent the public into a tail spin.

As a result, banks have reduced withdrawal limits internally to an average of between $100 and $500.

RBZ governor John Mangudya told the breakfast meeting the on-going bank queues were a result of civil service salaries being staggered in light of the cash shortages. He said civil service salaries alone would see more than $100 million being withdrawn from the banking system each month.

“Last Monday, was the pay day for their health workers, this past Friday was the payday for teachers and this Monday was the payday for the rest of the civil servants. Due to the income that is coming into government, they are now spreading the wage payment to their civil servants,” Mangudya said.

“The wage bill alone for the three sectors is more than $100 million which is needed to be dispensed from the banks. So what we did about the queues that are there today is that we made a promise to bankers that we want to remove those queues by end of the week this week and start afresh.”

He said that on average the central bank imports $20 million, which is no longer able to meet the demand for cash.


  1. This is the problem with banks they feel its thier money and have to control what deposters get weekly. If i deposit my money willingly i should get it willingly without limit, its my money

  2. Hope this limit will also apply to the big fish, the problem in Zim is all the policy seems to affect the ordinary man. Nxaaaa

  3. Ndoo zvinonetsa nevanhu ivawo even nyika chaiyo vakuti ndeyavo thats why zvinhu zviri kuparara havanyare

  4. Iyo limit yacho only applies kwatiri povo, ivo they make transactions through the back door. We have been taken for granted far too long. Enough is Enough. Nxaaaa

  5. Lance has a point, reduce transaction charges on cards and RTGS and we wont need the hard cash. How can i buy bread for 90c everyday whilst being charged $2.50 for the transaction. Just to transfer a payment of $150.00 im charged $10.00 thats ridiculous.

    Bond note is not the solution but plastic money and this is easily encouraged by reducing charges i should not feel the transaction cost

  6. The cash situatuion is going to get worse as long as the RBZ governor and banks continue to send the wrong sgnals into the market. If you continue to tell people that if you bank your money you will not get it, then they will not bank the money. Its not going to work. W are such a backward economy to start dreaming of using plastic money. Where can we get pple with brains to solve this problem. What these guys are talking about does not work and it is not going to work.

  7. We shld operate like Indians no need for Banks in our transactions lets us safe keep our cash and see who is going to suffer.

  8. The Breakfast meetings are just too much and if someone can tell us who is funding all these breakfast meetings that have been held from the day when we had the John Bond issue? I think the spending appetite is just way too high and we will never get anywhere with this calibre of people.

  9. Zvakaoma ndatenda hangu! Kukauriswa kwoga! Vatungamiriri dai mambosiya nekuti nyika iyi maikoniwa! ende matikaurisa wena! What manner if things and life is this to always be on a roller-coaster of bad to worse and swimming through an ocean of uncertainty all thanks to poor leadership! Zimbabweans deserve better! #Taneta #ThisFlag

  10. just as Micheal responded I am amazed that any body able to get paid $4334 in 4 weeks on the internet
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  11. I will never respect these guys vemasuit.BRAINLESS. Shuwa Guvamatanga anoda kundilimiter my cash.HEY Guvamatanga these are not donations, its hard earned cash.Ari saLance brainless, chanetsa haasi maRTGS but your expensive bank charges and CASH and Inconsistent monetary policy

  12. If they can charge as little as a cent per plastic transaction on eftpos we will not really need much cash. As it is you cannot swipe for a loaf of bread it is expensive!

  13. the so called bankers are drunk. how can someone calls for a withdrawal limit of $500 per week as if there is a maximum deposit for the same period. a depositor must be able to get his cash from the bank anytime he may need it. because putting a limit will see unnecessary mas withdrawals coz our cash may end up being converted into unknown currencies as the case of 2008.this time its mari yedu hainganyure futi this time

  14. These bankers are crazy, they are actually causing the depositors to panick. Why should I keep my money in a crumbled banking system? Yes we WILL EMPTY OUR ACCOUNTS if you have no solutions to the cash crisis. Wasting time – why not find solutions to cash crisis? Why limit the money i deposited or that is in my account? Nonsense!!!!

  15. I dont believe these limits are the solution, if for instance my employer deposits my salary into my bank account then i should be free to withdraw it all as and when i want it, it’s mine and shouldn’t spent any night in the bank unless if they will pay interest on it.

    The RBZ governor and his fellow bankers need to really think and come up with proper solutions to this because this is what they are there for. Otherwise they should resign and give others a chance, we need lasting solutions to thes, how long can we continue to be inconvenienced like this?

    Right now i cant withdraw any money from my bank’s atm, they are a big banking institute for that matter! Added to this they’ve hiked their charges per transaction inside to 1.5% of amount withdrawn, meaning they charge $15 for every thousand dollars withdrawn, if this is not extortion then i do not know what else this could be

  16. George people withdraw money because they need to not because they want to. In England one wouldn’t need to withdraw that kind of money. You state that the average deposit is $374 but you conveniently neglect to state the average withdrawal, how dishonest of you or is it pure incompetence on your part. Of course let’s promote the use of plastic money and let’s reduce the attendant fees but let’s not force people to use plastic money. People will naturally embrace plastic money if you make it attractive. Pity we are not told that the breakfast meeting acknowledged that until we start exporting we will never tame the “monster”.

  17. Got a point Tsemura. I have since boycotted the banks myself maybe until a new order is in place. This bulshit government is killing Zimbabwe

  18. the Problem started with Mangudya . he is not fit for the job. its high tyme pipo should say no. to some instructions. how can can he say he has no power to arrest pipo who are siphining money out the country, Gono aaita sei / where is Mawere, Makamba, Virimai Nickolars, if any of them are back in the country vakamoendepi and uye why. his jocking

  19. maximum deposit must be $500 per week.
    makundipa limit on the money i deposited
    #amana zvakawoma

  20. i waited long to be paid .ndinenge ndakwereta vakavanda ,ndokwira bhaz na2 kunotora salary vhiki yose varwere vanosara naan kuchipatara

  21. Is it the banks or even the government for that matter to decide how much we should withdraw from our accounts. We labour to earn our monies now they want us to labour to get them as well from the banks. come on guys why do you act as if people are just a pack of rubbish which you can toss around. if you have failed to run the banks then say so man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. jumping from the frying pan into the fire, kikikikikiki i love my country because most of those in leadership always do what they deem as necessary, my money and you say a limit to that, its all about creating problems for ourselves, keep up why making millions suffer for the little salaries they have, why?.

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  23. If you reduce the amount withdrawable you may as well limit the amount one is suppose to deposit. I think these Bankers have gone insane these are unheard of measures by desperate people who have lost the game.

  24. The banks have made it worse with their exorbitant charges on cashless transactions, making plastic money unattractive. Secondly Zimbabwe’s businesses have not embraced modern transaction with big organizations like ZESA still not having swiping machines, neither will you get a petrol point where you can swipe. These are basics that if we could have the option of using our cards at a fair price, we would gladly embrace.

    Its a pity that as country we have remained backward by transecting in cash, albeit understandable so, because people have no trust at all on this government. Its only yesterday that we were left clutching manure when the government raided our FCAs.

  25. Fool me once..shame on you.. fool me twice..shame on me… Izvi takambozviona 2008… takuzviziva..thanks to the high literacy rate…

    Right now the Standard Chartered Bank has introduced a system where one needs to produce their ID in order to withdraw money from their ATM. This means I can no longer send my wife to take my salary from my account.. so both of us now have to board bus at 2 am to get the same money for which situation we used to send one person umwe osara paduty kumusha….
    and stil they say..let us keep your money for you..nxa…kkk

  26. Mangundya or Mangunja whatever, must resign.. That man’s head is full of hot air. ThisFlag

  27. It becomes apparently clear that,”No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it.”that same consciousness will only go an extra mile in making the situation worse by further unnecessary advances.Well it’s unfortunate they won’t give an ear.

  28. Guvamombe of Barclays Bank is talking nonsense, his bank is giving people $100 per day after spending so many hours in the queue . Where is he getting the $1000 a day he is saying. Those banking with Barclays are suffering comapared to Stanbic and Standard Bank.

  29. These fly by night bankers vanowanikwepiko.Lance iLawyer kujaira kuvhara vanhu…….No to banks.yapinda tora yese.TIONE

  30. The banking system is in shambles. If your salary is deposited before 10am you may only be able to withdraw it the following day. Then you’re limited to $100 and each transaction is charged. Same for EFTPOS. If employers give employees the choice, many would rather be paid in cash.

    Only loans are tying some of us to banks and building societies,

    I’m surprised standards at Barclays have dropped below Stanchart & Stanbic – is it a management problem?

    Lance who do you want to tell you to reduce the charges? I thought being proactive comes with the high office of being CEO? Sounding like Mugabe, talking a lot but saying & doing jack.

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