RBZ stops banks from increasing bank charges during lockdown

FBC bank building

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has instructed banks not to increase bank charges on all electronic transactions during the 21-day lockdown.

Banks are forbidden to increase bank charges even if they had already communicated to customers that they are going to do so. In the circular distributed to banks, RBZ said:

Suspension of all increases in bank charges on electronic transactions, including those that had already been communicated to customers, but not yet effected.

Although banks will be closed during the lockdown, they will keep on offering their services via their digital platforms as instructed by the RBZ Governor, John Mangudya in a separate circular (download below):

Following the announcement by His Excellency, the President, of a 21-day lockdown effective 30 March 2020, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe wishes to advise the public that essential banking services will remain available to the transacting public. In this regard, the banking sector will continue to offer and the public will continue to have access to the following essential electronic services:

  • Mobile banking;
  • RTGS;
  • Electronic funds transfers;
  • Point of Sale;
  • Mobile money; and
  • International receipts and payments.

The circular went on to say that banking halls and branches may only be opened to customers “in exceptional cases of emergencies”.

Does it only apply to banks only?

The directive not only apply to banks only but also bureau de changes, microfinance institutions,and payment service providers are not supposed to increase bank charges during the 3 week lockdown.

The directive gives customers somewhat of a relief during the lockdown as they will be trying to spend as less as possible to preserve their money so they can see out the lockdown with some money to spend.

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