HomeBusiness DigestBanking hours to be extended

Banking hours to be extended

Rodwin Chirara

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued an ultimatum to all banks to extend banking hours by Wednesday next week or be forced to do so.

Helvetica, sans-serif”>RBZ governor Gideon Gono is understood to have told executives that if they did not heed his call he would implement the move as a directive.

Sources said commercial banks had agreed to uniformly implement the extended hours following Gono’s request in his monetary policy statement in December.

Gono requested commercial banks to extend their banking hours from the traditional 1 pm to 3 pm for the convenience of the public.

By Wednesday only one commercial bank, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, had extended its banking hours from 1 pm to 3 pm. Stanbic is led by Pindie Nyandoro.

Contacted for comment, the retail director of Kingdom Bank Clement Kahiya said the bank was aware of the implementation as a collective action by all banks.

“We waited because we assumed it was a collective action but now other banks have decided to act on their own,” Kahiya said. “We really do not have a problem with his request. In fact we will start next week.”

Trust Banking Corporation corporate affairs manager Sure Chimbga said the bank was still working on the implementation process.

“Trust Bank will comply with the proposal by the Reserve Bank to extend its banking hours,” Chimbga said. “We are currently working on modalities to operationalise this objective and we will advise our customers accordingly.”

During his monetary policy review last month Gono hinted that failure to comply with his plea could eventually force him to order banks to extend their operating hours on Wednesdays.

Sekai Gurira of Zimbank said the bank’s retail department was working on the issue, but could not clarify when they would extend their opening hours.

“They are working on the issue and we will advise when we will be starting,” Gurira said.

Century Bank Ltd’s marketing manager Monica Mureriwa said the bank had already put in place mechanisms for the extended banking hours.

“We are starting next week operating at those extended times,” she said. “We have already catered for those extended times through our instore branches which close every day at 3:30 pm.”

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