THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe yesterday reviewed the maximum daily cash withdrawals for individuals and corporate. Individuals will from Monday withdraw $20 000 up from $1 000 while corporates would be allowed to withdraw $10 000.
The bank also announced that individual foreign currency account (FCA) holders can withdraw any amount from their FCA with no limitations.
Gono made the announcement when he handed over 570 foreign currency exchange dealership licences to retailers and wholesalers. A total 600 companies had applied for the licences.
“Of the figure, 533 licences have been issued to FOLIWARS operating retail and wholesale licences, with the balance of 37 licences issued to FELOCS and FELOPADS, being oil companies and service station who will sell fuel in foreign currency,” said Gono.
What remained to be seen is how the Reserve Bank will meet the new daily cash demands by financial institutions, when it had been failing to do so with the maximum withdrawals at $1 000.
Yesterday, four Harare residents filed an urgent High Court application seeking an order outlawing cash withdrawal limits saying they were depriving peoplesâ€™ right to life as enshrined in the Constitution and international conventions.
Rogers Chigwededza, Tinashe Gotora, Jackson Mabota and Precious Mwateyeni cited finance minister, Reserve Bank and three financial institutions â€“â€“ CABS, POSB and Metropolitan Bank â€“â€“ as respondents.
The applicants want the High Court to bar the finance minister and the central bank from imposing withdrawal limits.
“In the event there be any limits 1st and 2nd respondents (Minister of Finance and Reserve Bank) should widely consult all stakeholders and take into account their daily practical needs and that limits be revised once the withdrawal limits become inadequate,” read the application. “The third, fourth and fifth respondents (CABS, Metropolitan Bank and POSB) should allow applicants to withdraw in demand monies of the applicants held by them.”
The applicants said limitation of withdrawals were inhumane, degrading and a violation of the right to life as stated in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Yesterdayâ€™s daily cash withdrawal review comes at a time when most commercial banks have increased bank charges, raising fears among economists that business in the financial sector would decline.
The increase has seen a bank statement attracting a fee of between $200 and $1 000 per leaf page depending on the bank.
An internal transfer now attracts between $3 000 and $10 000 in charges.
It will cost one between $50 000 to $120 000 to get a smaller cheque-book and a bigger one between $100 000 and $400 000 depending on the bank.
Some commercial banks like CBZ charge per leaf if a company or individual applies for a chequebook. For corporates it costs $750 per leaf while for individuals its costs $250.
An internal and cross-bank transfer now attracts charges of between $10 000 and $15 0000.
To apply for an ATM card one has to part with between $30 000 to $100 000, while to replace one would cost between $50 000 and $250 000.
This means an individual who earns $15 000 has to save for at least three months before they can apply for a new cheque book only if the charges are not reviewed.
Individuals are charged between $300 and $1 000 to withdraw money from an ATM and on the counter.
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions are charged between $8 000 and $13 000.
Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president John Mangudya yesterday said the banks charges were in response to cost resulting from the hyperinflationary environment.
By Paul Nyakazeya