Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zimbabwe Commercial Banks Resume Consumer Lending - At a Price

Bankers said consumer loans repayable over six or 12 months, help cushion low-paid workers from the harsh economic environment

Gibbs Dube
Washington 27 December 2010

Some Zimbabwean commercial banks are resuming consumer lending, making loans for school fees, settling power and water bills, and for other purposes, in general lending the equivalent of one month’s salary at 28 percent annual interest.

Bankers said such loans, repayable over six or 12 months, provide low-paid workers with a cushion against the current harsh economic environment.

Financial sources said banks offering such loans included Zimbabwe Banking Corporation, the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, Metropolitan Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Harare banker Charles Moyo said that customers who applied for loans should get their money in the next few days.

Economic commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga said such loan schemes signal a return of confidence between bankers and their

For those who do not qualify for bank loans or are reluctant to pay high rates of interest, savings clubs are springing up again as Zimbabweans with little disposable income pool their financial resources, correspondent Taurai Shava reports from Gweru.

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