Letters

CASH SHORTAGE IN BANKS SIGN OF LOOMING BANK FAILURES

CASH SHORTAGE IN BANKS SIGN OF LOOMING BANK FAILURES

…it’s time for BoZ to trigger a currency change-over

Dear Editor,

IN summary, there is a cash crisis in the country. This is evidence of looming bank failures. It’s time the Bank of Zambia intervened with a currency change-over strategy to avert bank failures. This would also generate sufficient funds to finance Eurobonds.

There is an acute shortage of cash across the country. Some ATMs are empty most of the time.

The central bank has confirmed there is cash shortage in circulation, especially large denominations. It is encouraging use of alternative payment methods.

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has confirmed unprecedented cash withdrawals in the last few months. People have resorted to stashing cash in homes.

Theoretically, these events are evidence of a looming banking crisis. Widespread bank failures are on the way resulting from depositor withdrawals characterised by election loss panic.

Clearly, government safety nets put in place designed to forestall overestimated risks of panic are on the verge of collapse.

Before bank failures show their ugly face pretty soon, and since the safety nets are on the verge of collapse, thinking outside the box strategy is that the BoZ swiftly intervenes with an urgent currency strategy of a currency change-over.

A currency change-over will have several advantages. First, it would generate substantial revenue for Government through a sliding scale taxation of genuine deposits above set thresholds.

Secondly, it would force everyone to bring back the cash into the banking system thereby increasing the taxable income. Third, with incentives, the government would capture illicit cash, pretty easily.

In our view, this exercise alone could probably generate sufficient funds to finance the Eurobond loans.

This is another Green Party innovation!

PETER SINKAMBA.

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