Banks charge premium for USD notes

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Ndakaziva Majaka

BANKS in Zimbabwe have started charging premiums for smaller denominated United States Dollars (USD), as the country continues to experience a shortage of small notes.

A quick survey with financial institutions in Harare and Bulawayo’s Central Business District (CBD) revealed that most banks were charging premiums of up to 10 percent.

The parallel cash market is charging between 12 and 15 percent as a premium for the smaller notes.

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president Ralph Watungwa told ZTN that the cost of importing smaller denominated notes was forcing some financial institutions to charge premiums on cash.

“It is a very possible occurrence because importing smaller denominated notes is more expensive so it is purely a cost recovery issue more than anything,” Watungwa said.

ZTN could not immediately get a comment from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya who was not answering his mobile phone.