By Mthabisi Tshuma
ECOBANK Zimbabwe has said authorities have cleared it of any wrongdoing for issuing $15 000 to a client but investigations are now centred on establishing if the money was used for its intended purpose.
The bank said the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe conducted investigations into the matter and concluded that Ecobank Zimbabwe had followed laid down procedures in releasing the $15 000 to a client who intended to procure milk from local small scale producers.
Last week, there was an outcry after images of the newly issued bank notes and coins in sealed packs, believed to be destined for the parallel market in Harare, went viral on social media, putting a dent on the image of the monetary authority and the entire banking system.
Fifteen thousand dollars was withdrawn from Ecobank Zimbabwe and $44 180 from CBZ Bank, amounts that are way above the weekly withdrawal limit of $300.
In a statement yesterday, Ecobank Zimbabwe said investigations by the FIU showed that the bank had complied with the regulatory process in disbursing the cash.
“Following the publication of a press release by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on pictures of notes circulating on social media, Ecobank Zimbabwe Limited wishes to advise that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) conducted investigations into alleged diversion of cash to the parallel market.
“The investigations by the FIU have shown that Ecobank complied with the regulatory processes in disbursing the ZW$15 000 cash in question. This amount was intended for purposes of procuring milk from small-scale producers by a client of the Bank,” reads part of the statement.
“Investigations are now centred on the client to ascertain if the funds were used for the indicated and intended purposes, and the existence of any criminal activity on the part of our client.
“Ecobank is committed to consistently adhering to the highest standards of regulatory compliance and governance and will always cooperate fully with the regulatory authorities. We will continue to play our part in providing solutions that contribute to the stability of the economy,” reads the statement.
Last Friday, CBZ Bank said investigations regarding the $44 180 circulating on social media established that the transaction was “authorised”.
“The results confirm that a withdrawal of $1 and $0,25 bond coins took place at one of our branches. The withdrawal, by a corporate customer, in the gaming business, was an authorised transaction that fulfilled regulatory requirements,” said CBZ.
“The funds in the container were a display of a subsequent pay-out to a punter at the aforementioned corporate customer’s premises.” The Chronicle