RBZ’s planned deposit incentives won’t stop mattress banking

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, RBZ, deposit incentives, banks cash

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has, according to a report by the Herald, said that it is working with the banking sector to create incentives that will entice people to deposit money in to their accounts.

“We are working on incentives together with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe to encourage people to make deposits. We shall soon be making the necessary announcement. We will be paying interest on those that deposit money in banks to encourage people”

John Mangudya, Govenor RBZ (via The Herald)

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…

I have to hand it to the central bank for trying to coax people into depositing their hard-earned money which I am guessing is most likely USD. However, in the report by the Herald, there was no plan in place per se with the most being offered is that the RBZ and Banks are working on said deposit incentives.

The lack of something actionable isn’t my and I’m sure most people’s gripe with depositing money in banks. Here’s a playlist of articles that will probably best describe why people prefer to keep money under their mattresses:

If you are worried about data don’t be, Techzim is now zero-rated if you have an Econet line. I strongly suggest you take your time and go through the following so you can get a sense of what was happening at the time of these massive shifts.

The rule by decree nature of the central bank and government especially when it concerns our money is why people have lost confidence in the banks. No one wants to wake up tomorrow morning to a new monetary policy change, especially in this new multicurrency era.

What if the incentives come and no one takes them up on their offer

The fear I have now is that Zimbabweans have become hard-wired to keeping their money within reach. This will obviously mean that the deposit incentives, no matter how attractive they are, will be snubbed by the majority.

As you can see from the playlist above the erratic swing of policy we have endured could be used to enforce cash deposits. What I mean by this is that the government could simply say that you need to maintain a certain threshold in a Nostro or Prepaid USD account to keep it active.

This would be particularly bad because those accounts have become vital in this era of e-commerce and online purchases. Worse still the central bank could go after things like remittances which surpassed a billion last year.

A directive that orders remittance services to transfer money to bank accounts will be devasting not only for financial freedom but for the continued operation of companies like Western Union and others.

If this comes to pass, operating in Zimbabwe will become needlessly complex for these companies and they could simply decide to leave. And I don’t need to tell you what will happen if that was to be a reality…

The RBZ and govt need to build trust with the public

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the government need to start giving people a reason to trust them and financial institutions. Deposit incentives could be viewed as a first step to that process but more needs to be done to ensure that people feel their money is safe when they are putting it into the system.



  1. Kayz

    Put money where….

    RBZ and Banks should forget about me and others like me ever trusting them

  2. Optimus

    It would have been helpful to show data like USD deposits this time last year and today, to give a balanced article and add context for those less informed about current banking conditions. But then Techzim these days is all about angry ranting and raging.

  3. Imi vanhu musadaro

    There’s another grand heist being planned.

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t see myself ever depositing my hard cash into the bank. I rather dig a hole in my yard and put a safe box there.

  5. Anonymous

    1st people earned USD in USD accounts that woke up overnight being called RTGS accounts. Then came NOSTRO accounts in which we deposited hard earned USD yet again and could receive fired both locally and externally until we woke up overnight and you can longer withdraw that USD you once deposited and earned. That Nostro is currently called a DOMESTIC NOSTRO account. If you want to receive forex that is withraw-able(only from outside Zimbabwe), you must open a NOSTRO NOSTRO account. Any USD found locally once in the bank ceases to be what it is in.my understanding because the coming incentive would want us to deposit in what kind of accounts now? DOMESTIC NOSTRO NOSTRO RENEWED acc?????

    Kana ndimiwo…I can’t even keep up trying to type all this…

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