IT may be a New Year, but definitely it comes with new problems for AfriAsia clients who were given a paltry $10 to $20 maximum cash withdrawal yesterday, down from $50 given last week, dimming their prospects of buying a few goodies for the New Year celebrations.
Depositors, largely comprising civil servants — who wanted a last-minute dash to buy school uniforms and pay fees for their children — were left very disappointed yesterday after enduring a day in a snaking queue, only to be given $10 each, not enough for some from rural areas to travel back home.
“This is very unfair, I have a lot of money holed up in the bank,” Mavis Gandindzanwa said, almost shedding a tear outside the bank at Zimre Centre.
“They cannot transfer the money to my other bank because they say they have cash problems. I want to pay school fees for my children.”
Others called for the intervention of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to avoid losing their money as happened before when the financial sector hit its lowest ebb during the hyperinflationary era of 2007 and 2008.
Hundreds of others were milling to get cash at the troubled institution, facing serious liquidity crisis since mid to late last year.
AfrAsia is limiting depositors’ withdrawals due to solvency challenges. Officials from the bank refused to comment.
The bank is reported to be suffering the effects of the prevailing acute liquidity crisis.
Recently, an elite primary school, Kyle Preparatory, sued the bank over its failure to complete a transfer transaction of R59 733 and $3 881,61 to BancABC.
The school has threatened to issue summons and formal fraud charges at the police for criminal prosecution if AfrAsia fails to settle the amount within 48 hours of the letter dated December 5.
AfrAsia, which recently rebranded from Kingdom Bank following a 62,5% share takeover by AfrAsia Bank Mauritius, is seeking to raise a $100 million minimum capital threshold for commercial banks as stipulated by the regulator RBZ’s capital requirements.