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Banks blood-sucking the population: Mayihlome

Umzingwane legislator, Levi Mayihlome, has taken a swipe at the country’s banks, accusing them of “blood-sucking the population” resulting in both individuals and corporates shying away from them.

This comes hard on the heels of similar attacks directed at financial institutions by President Emmerson Mnangagwa Sunday.

Writing in his column in The Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa says most of Zimbabwe’s banks have gone “rogue” and are operating in contravention of the country’s laws.

He said only 31% of deposit-taking institutions passed a recent integrity test putting into question the role of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s credibility as a regulator of the banking sector.

Speaking in Parliament Tuesday during a debate on the recently presented mid-term budget review statement, Mayihlome said it was regrettable that most of the banks’ profits were coming from charges.

“I think the community or the nation is over-burdened by banks where you put your money into the bank like USD100, and if you go back in three months’ time, you owe the bank more money,” decried Mayihlome.

“So people have no incentive to take even RTGs or USD; the banks are really bloodsucking the population.”

Mayihlome who welcomed the budget review statement said he had issues to be brought to the attention of Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

“The first point that I would like the attention of the Honourable Minister is the issue of banks having the bulk of their income on non-interest income,” he said.

“I think we have a problem and I thought the Minister was going to look at incentives as to how the economy can bank money. People are not just banking money in this country and even the money that goes into banks currently is largely from Government payments, other contractors or salaries to civil service and no one out there in the informal sector is taking the money into the bank.”

He added: “How do we intend to incentivise the economy to bank so that at least banks earn most of their income from interest instead of bank charges?”

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