BANKS should facilitate the uptake of bond coins offering them as change to businesses and the public for free, according to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.
Responding to Bulawayo City Council finance manager Isaac Matare at a bond coin sensitisation workshop in Bulawayo last week on why availability of bond coins was not a free service from banks at least for a period of time, Mangudya expressed ignorance of the fact that banks were charging to give out the coins. “We thought that banks were offering them as a free service; we didn’t know that they were charging you,” he said. “Maybe that explains why supply is not as good as it is, so obviously we will take it up and positively attend to it.”
The trend in the banking sector is that they offer change facilities to businesses and the public for a fee as part of their core business functions, but they had been asked to waive charges for bond coin distribution. While it was not revealed which banks were charging to supply bond coins, Mangudya noted that the practice was evident. “Your question answers a lot of things; if you look at the uptake of some banks, it is very low while for others it is very high,” he said. “I always wondered why some large banks had a constant uptake since last year, so thank you, you have answered me on many issues.” The central bank chief said the monetary authority was not short of ideas and could explore other avenues to distribute the bond coins. “We can be short of money, but not of ideas. I am going to incorporate some of the things we have discussed here in the monetary policy statement.”