StanChart hikes service charges

STANDARD Chartered Bank Zimbabwe (StanChart) has increased automated teller machines (ATMs) charges to $40 from $2 as rising inflation begins to take its toll on financial institutions.

By Tatira Zvinoira

StanChart depositors are only able to withdraw $100 a day from the ATMS.

The new withdrawal fee is part of a slew of new banking service fees and charges the bank will implement, effective March 15, 2020.

According to a notice to clients, the review of the charges was response to “changing market conditions”.

“As you may be aware, as Standard Chartered Bank, we rely on the services of multiple external service providers in order to fulfil our obligations to you, our clients,” the bank said.

“In response to market conditions, many of our external vendors and service providers have increased their charges thereby impacting our ability to viably provide certain banking services to you, our valued clients, at the same cost.

“In the circumstances, we were compelled to review a selection of our transaction fees and charges as shown in the table below.”

Zimbabweans have been struggling to access cash from the banks for years now.

Last year the government re-introduced the Zimbabwe dollar, but the move did not end the cash shortages.

A number of businesses offer discounts for customers buying using cash while those relying on electronic forms of payment have to fork out a premium.

In its latest monetary policy statement issued last week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said it would gradually increase bank notes and coins in circulation until it reaches the desired optimal proportion of bank notes and coins in circulation, to 10% of deposits.

Deposits stood at $34.5 billion as at the end of last year.

The central bank said it would also introduce larger denominated notes to improve efficiency and convenience to the public.

Meanwhile, other service charges reviewed by StanChart include a monthly maintenance fee of $70 up from $65, service fee of $2,50 from $1,99 per transaction, mortgage application fee

$1 800 from $100, and POS balance enquiry $1,44 from 80 cents.

The bank also increased the outward transfer fee set at 2,5% of the transfer with a minimum charge set at $550 and maximum $3 000 from $30 and $160, respectively.

“In selecting these transaction types for fee review, we remain cognisant of the need to ensure that banking services remain affordable and accessible to all customer segments in a manner that is sustainable and ensures our ability to provide quality banking services into the future,” the bank said. – The Standard