Managing director of Western Union Money Transfer Manager Mr Tendai Bindura explained the source of shortages for United States dollars.
Western Union has been unable to disburse foreign currency with some agents closing due to forex shortages. Bindura said most banks in Zimbabwe are facing challenges of importing hard cash, thereby delaying remittances services, which depend on availability of foreign currency. In an interview with The Herald’s sister paper Business Weekly recently, Mr Bindura said problems started when a South African bank, used by local money transfer agencies, changed its correspondent banking partner to Deustche bank of Germany. Said Bindura:
So we knew clearly what it meant because Deustche Bank had already ditched Zimbabwean banks and they do not have an appetite for money transfer agencies. So if you check with many money transfer agencies, their accounts where closed, so the bank (name withheld) will ultimately close the money transfer accounts to secure their relationship, this process is what they call de-risking which started about 2-3 years back. In fact, the banks told us that we cannot have your accounts anymore.
Bindura said Western Union has applied to the RBZ to import money on its own and directly from South Africa.