Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has, with immediate effect, lifted the temporary suspension on lending services by banks.
In a statement, Tuesday, RBZ governor, John Mangudya, said the announcement on the lending suspension will not apply to entities under investigation.
“Further to the circular issued to banks on May 9, 2022, the bank wishes to advise the public that the temporary suspension of lending services by banks has been lifted with immediate effect. The lifting of the suspension does not apply to those entities that are under investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for abusing loan facilities to the detriment of the economy. The FIU has, accordingly, advised all banks of the affected entities,” Mangudya said.
This comes barely a week after RBZ ordered banks and financial institutions in the country not to lend money to anyone, including the government and private individuals. The central bank made the pronouncement following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s address to the nation.
Zimbabwe’s Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube had said the ban on bank lending announced by President Mnangagwa last weekend was aimed at combating indiscipline in the financial services sector driving inflation and weakening the local currency.
The temporary suspension was heavily criticised by Parliamentarians, saying the move by RBZ had caused losses in several companies, including the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) said the decision to suspend bank lending in a desperate bid to arrest the rapid devaluation of its currency will worsen the economic crisis and expose borrowers to predatory loans.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on Saturday 14 May said the government opened imports of basic commodities to citizens with immediate effect. This will be done “through the lowering of import tariffs and other accompanying measures,” Ncube said in an emailed statement late on Saturday. No further details were provided.