The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has decreased bank charges for cash withdrawals with immediate effect following public outcry over exorbitant fees being charged to account holders.
The new withdrawal charges have been revised with immediate effect to:
- 1% of the total amount withdrawn at the ATM
- 1.25% of the total amount withdrawn over the counter
According to the Herald, the RBZ issued the following statement:
Against this background and as part of the on-going efforts to promote financial inclusion and to ensure that banking products and services are affordable to the banking public, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has reviewed cash withdrawal charges downwards with effect from 12 December 2016.
…In order to align cash withdrawal charges to amount withdrawn, a proportional pricing model has been adopted to replace the current fixed charges. The applicable charges for cash withdrawal is a maximum of 1 percent and 1.25 percent of amount withdrawn from an ATM and over — the counter, respectively as indicated below.
So, for example, if you withdraw $20 at the ATM you will now be charged 20 cents, and if you were to withdraw the same amount over the counter you would be charged 25 cents and the amount you withdraw was to increase you would be charged 1% (ATM) and 1.25% (over the counter) respectively.
The new withdrawal charge system comes after banks used a flat withdrawal charge rate on account holders, with some charging up to $3 regardless of the amount withdrawn.
The new charges should be a welcome relief to many account holders who had suffered the high withdrawal charges for months, recently local activist Advocate Fadzayi Mahere had threatened to team up with lawyers and litigants to sue the local banks in a class action lawsuit.
The RBZ seems to have caught wind of this and quickly made the necessary changes to calm the banking public who are already frustrated with the lack of cash and long bank queues to access it with many banks having clients sleep overnight just to withdraw their hard earned money.