Cabinet Approves New Bank Capital Requirements

“The new capital thresholds will be implemented on a phased basis starting on 31 December 2012 and ending 31 December 2015 to coincide with the end of the Zimbabwe Medium Term Plan (2011-2015),” Gorden Moyo, acting Finance Minister said to bankers at the Reserve Bank in a meeting attended by central bank governor Gideon Gono and his board.

“Government accepts the theme towards building a strong, safe, consolidated, responsible and diversified banking super-market sector that, like a well-stocked supermarket, appeals to the diverse tastes and quality of each other.”

Moyo however warned banks about the issue of high lending interest rates and bank charges.

“The issue of corporate governance practices within the banking sector needs attention. Corporate governance issues in the banking sector including necessary amendments to banking legislation which will deal with owner-manager abuses of depositors’ funds,” Moyo said.

“The central bank will be taking steps to curtail unacceptable high interest rates that borrowers are being subjected to nowadays and that the bank charges fees will be dealt with as directed by government.”

Moyo shot down Gono’s calls to jail errant bankers. “We should not criminalise bankers, this policy is supposed to consolidate bankers and to induce growth in the banking sector,” Moyo said.

Interfin bank and Royal bank closed in the past month after failing to pay depositors while Rennaisance Merchant Bank was placed under curatorship before it bounced back.