‘Banks should improve financial services quality’

12 Jul, 2019 - 00:07 0 Views
‘Banks should improve financial services quality’

eBusiness Weekly

Pride Mahlangu
Banks should improve the quality of financial services they offer if they are to increase client confidence and encourage depositors to have faith on them, financial analysts have said.

At a time when Government has rolled out financial reforms and established the interbank foreign currency market aimed at stabilising the economy, the analysts say the banking sector must rise to the occasion and complement such efforts.

This comes on the background of complaints being raised by the public over poor services at banking halls where clients have said they are frustrated by service delays, negative attitude and long queues.

Prohibitive bank service charges and non-availability of cash have also become another major constraint.

These have given the parallel market default advantage, especially for those keen to change their foreign currency as they are given prompt service on the streets.

In view of this, financial analyst, Trust Chikora, said poor service at banks has an effect of frustrating business and the well being of the economy at large.

“It debilitates against the business, because business works well if it is done according to official channels. Also, it means the Government is losing a lot of revenue because the parallel market is outside the official channel . . . and pushes inflationary pressure as well,” he said.

Chikora said the banking services in Zimbabwe were not efficient and criticised the issue of giving coins on withdrawals.

He said such a trend discourages clients from putting their money in a bank as they will be subjected to wearisome processes when they want to withdraw it.

Chikora said efficient banking service was necessary for the stabilisation of the interbank market.

Economist and businessman, Luxon Zembe, concurred saying it was important that banks and other service providers take heed of the complaints by depositors and be able to address them positively by providing quality services in line with global standards.

“We should take note of the challenges we have, and you know in terms of technology, in terms of skills level, in terms of power, and in all the various sectors that are driving our economy. Businesses are battling with those challenges,” he said.

“We will get there, but what is important is for us to accept that we are still lagging behind because when you accept your position or short comings, then you are in a position to improve than when you refuse and deny it.”

Government recently introduced the Zimbabwe dollar as the sole legal tender in the country under Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019.

The move has so far had a stabilising effect on forex trading rates with the official interbank rates taming parallel market rates for the first time. Hopes are high that the trend will continue as more people trade their forex though the official channel.

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