ECOBANK Zimbabwe is facing disciplinary action after a preliminary investigation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) revealed that the abuse of newly released bank notes emanated from the commercial bank.
Zimbabweans, on Tuesday, woke up to the introduction of the new notes and coins which was delayed by 24 hours as most banks collected their allocations Monday morning, the day the notes were scheduled to be launched.
However, before banks were opened on Wednesday morning the new notes were already in the streets with black market traders showing off hordes of the new two and five dollar notes.
“The RBZ has taken note of pictures circulating on social media that show recently introduced 2 dollar banknotes in sealed packs, suggesting that the notes are already being traded on the parallel market,” central bank governor John Mangudya said.
“The Bank has conducted investigations on the matter, and the findings are that the banknotes in the circulating pictures emanated from Ecobank. Preliminary investigations by the RBZ at Ecobank indicate that an amount of ZW$15, 000 was withdrawn by one customer. Ecobank, together with their customer, are now assisting the Zimbabwe Republic Police with further investigations on this matter.
“Appropriate disciplinary measures shall be taken against the bank and the customer and anyone else found responsible for such malpractices which bring the RBZ and the entire banking system into disrepute.”
Mangudya added: “Such malpractices cannot and should not be condoned. In the meantime, the Bank would like to advise the public on how banks withdraw cash from the RBZ. The procedure is such that banks transfer the equivalent amount of their cash requirements to the RBZ through the RTGS system. The banks will then collect the cash from the RBZ to their central cash depots from where they distribute to their branch network.”