The People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) is on an ongoing process of being partially privatized by the government of Zimbabwe as stated in a press release published by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) the 19th of May 2021.
POSB is only savings bank wholly owned by the government on behalf of its citizens in Zimbabwe
ZIMCODD urges the government to reverse its decision and measures of partially privatizing POSB.
Currently POSB has 460,000 customers country wide, holds about 20% of the market share making it the leader in customer base of all Zimbabwe’s banks and its Infrastructure and distribution network has the reach that no other bank has hence why the bank needs to remain preserved.
The Banks and Banking Survey of 2018 confirmed that the POSB had the best performing bank in terms of efficient utilization which is why the poor, pensioners, ordinary citizens, youth among others trust the bank.
ZIMCODD noted that the transfer of parastatal ownership and public control to the private sector will not only threaten public interests, but will also go against the POSB Act which states that it is a people’s bank that must remain in the control of the State and the Act’s objective is for the government to protect citizens’ long-term financial interests in a volatile economy.
ZIMCODD urges the government to safeguard the policy of POSB and to provide crucial oversight that ensures the Bank will remain loyal to its public mandate.
“Selling off the Bank would mean that the majority citizens would no longer have an affordable Bank they can rely on as most banks in the country are not as affordable to use due to high transaction and monthly fees as well as high loan interest rates.
“Privatizing is not the only way to enhance POSB’s capacity to underwrite more businesses to the productive sectors neither is it the best way to access expertise and improved banking technology.” ZIMMCODD
POSB is actually one of the few State-Owned Enterprises that are competently managed and profitable hence making it another reason to why it is a terrible idea to sell the enterprise off.
The bank published a net profit of ZWL$24.7 million during the six months ended period June 30th in 2019 as compared to the ZWL$8.11 million recorded during the same period in 2018.
ZIMCODD suggested that, the government of Zimbabwe should invest in further capitalization of the Bank’s expansion and modernization in order to improve efficiency and competiveness, and so, the same way the government deployed taxpayers’ money to assume debts and rescue preferred industries, the same should be done in order to safeguard the only remaining banking institution initially created for the public’s interest in Zimbabwe.