Last Friday I was in the bank and got the cash I needed without a problem. I saw the ART Farm accountant there and he was muttering about not being able to do transfers. Over the weekend it emerged that they had a liquidity problem so it was with a bit of concern on Monday that I went to draw wages. They grudgingly gave me the $4000 or so that I needed but most people were only getting $1000 and they only had smaller denomination notes; $20 and less. There was clearly a serious problem here.
In Friday’s Independent newspaper CBZ was reported as loaning $713 million last year, more than double the next bank, BancABC. I have also heard anecdotally of a farmer who got a $1m loan from CBZ – clearly impossible to pay back in Zimbabwe’s economic climate. Then yesterday Shelton told me that he’d seen in the press that the liquidity problem WAS due to too many loans being given out. Just who was in charge of that aspect? Is this a case of “loans for mates” of Gideon Gono who has significant influence there? I wouldn’t be surprised.