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Banking just senseless

A BANKER has been depicted as a man who will lend you his umbrella when it is fine but wants it back at the first sign of rain. Banks protect themselves in numerous ways and shift the responsibility for any loss to their clients.

>A bank, in effect, borrows money from you, deducts a fee and then lends it to me, levying an even greater charge in the form of interest while not paying any worthwhile interest to you. In order to participate in this scheme, you need to give personal guarantees, references, financial statements, proof of source of income and probably several other requirements.

Having opened a bank account and obtained a chequebook, you will find that suppliers are unwilling to accept a cheque in payment for goods or services fearing that it may “bounce”. Your bank will not guarantee your cheque but will issue a “bankers’ cheque” upon payment of another fee. So then you will have a cheque acceptable to one particular supplier.

Bearer cheques are effectively bankers’ cheques issued by the Reserve Bank which are acceptable to all. Why then should the governor of the Reserve Bank encourage employers to pay their staff in other bank cheques or by depositing wages in bank accounts from which employees need to join endless queues in order to get their hard-earned money?

In a country with 70% unemployment and most of those employed earn less than the government-calculated “poverty income”, banking accounts for the average person do not make any sense.

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono seems to have just realised that the majority of people in rural areas do not have access to basic banking services as if this was peculiar to Zimbabwe.

What is unique in this country is that the worth of one’s money decreases by the day, whether it is within the banking system or not. This needs urgent attention by the authorities and until resolved no meaningful savings or banking “development programme” stands a chance of seeing the light of day.



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