By Lubinda Habaazoka
I have a problem with our current banking system.
We are being forced by the central bank to be robbed by banks.
For example, people pay K160 per month for premier banking with a certain bank. Then this bank charges K8 to withdraw money from the ATM. Now this bank loads K50’s in ATMs such that the maximum amount one can draw is K2,000.
Now if one wants K8,000, they need to draw 4 times paying K32 in the process. If they withdrew from inside the bank, they would pay a surcharge of over K100.
The maximum amount one can withdraw from an ATM per day is K10,000. So if you needed K13,000, you give a gift of over K200 if you used a combination of ATM plus over the counter transaction.
The same bank will charge you K20 to withdraw from another bank’s ATM. So if your account is active, you end up paying over K2,000 in fees per month. This is daylight robbery.
One of the functions of a Central Bank is to enhance financial inclusion. It is mandatory that we get paid through banks. But when you bring in a bank in the question, banks take up a good portion of our salaries. If banks allowed a free one time withdraw of funds from accounts, no one was going to leave their money with the banks.
Why should people be forced to keep money with banks so that banks abuse them.
Smart bankers make money through innovative products and not daylight robbery of hard earned cash.
The excuse of saying use Visa cards cannot hold when most of our economy is informal.
– How will I swipe at Chisokone market?, or pay a villager for goats bought?
Let us be realistic.
Don’t force us into being robbed. The regulator should move in to stop this exploitation otherwise the informal sector will never formalize and the burden will always fall on a few.
The positive gains made in terms of financial inclusion will soon be eroded due to this ridiculous pricing.
What is surprising is that these banks don’t behave the same way in Europe.