Thursday, June 13, 2024

Government should consider intervening in high bank charges-CUTS


A man counts out Zambian kwacha 50 denomination banknotes in this arranged photograph in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Zambian Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda is seeking to restore confidence in the economy to help reverse the world’s worst currency performance, record borrowing costs and sliding growth. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The Consumer Unit Trust Society (CUTS) International Zambia says it may be important for the government to consider intervening in the high bank charges being slapped on consumers for various transactions.

A recent survey showed that banks are charging anything from K5 to K500 for clients to access their money through the ATMs and over-the-counter transactions, while mobile money providers charge anything from K2 to K100 to send or receive money.

In a brief statement, CUTS International Zambia Coordinator Chenai Mukumba explained that there is need for government to ensure that consumers are not being exploited.

Ms. Mukumba said CUTS has received a number of complaints from consumers regarding bank charges.

“As businesses, banks are permitted to charge for the different services that they provide to consumers. It is important, however, for consumers to understand the costs of the banking products associated with the accounts they sign up for. Depending on the type of account, some banks indicate that the consumer will be charged for checking their account therefore consumers must be vigilant with requesting for this information so that they are not met by unexpected costs,” Ms. Mukumba said.

She added, “Having said that however, bank charges should ideally be within affordable limits for consumers. Some banks have been known to charge high fees and this is an issue that we have noted may be a concern in Zambia. As CUTS we have received a number of complaints from consumers regarding bank charges.”

Ms. Mukumba charged that high bank charges are detrimental to consumers because they erode their savings and also increase their debt.

“If the market is unable to work to push charges down for consumers it may be important for the government to consider intervening to ensure that consumers are not being exploited,” she suggested.

“In the same vein however, it is important for consumers to try and understand the banking products that banks offer and their prices.”


  1. Here in Qatar we pay 1 percent interest rate for loans.No tax PAYE…Ka moba che na puss!e ndiye die man

    • The Zambian notes smell terribly

      When I came from Zambia I checked my purse and I still had close to K6,500 change.

      I must confess I threw it down the toilet and flushed it away.

      The smell is awful.

      People need to wash their hands before touching money for heavens sake or introduce plastic money like here in the UK



    • @ Mushota ..yeah banks notes smell badly.But if you compare bank notes smell with your menstrual and vag!nal odor you would mistake it for a rotten fish, is it?

    • @1.2 you’re truly disgusting. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself it’s possible to get out of the gutter where you are. Leave that place for the rats.

  2. Banks in this country operate with unfettered freedom which can only be translated as robbery. Lok at the way they vary loan repayment conditions, for instance. All the need to do is send you an SMS informing you that interest rates have been revised and the following day your repayment period has been increased! Day light robbery, isn’t it?

  3. Banks in Zambia are run by people who support upnd and want the mighty PF to fail so government should get involved and ensure that banks should not steal from the hardworking Zambian citizenry

    • @ shu shu shu

      Why are you such badly informed and useless arshole?
      Firstly, the supervising authority is BoZ whose Board and top management are appointed by President.
      Secondly, GRZ has investment in the banks and therefore members of the Board.
      Thirdly, from 2011 to date ALL Zambian MD/GM of the Banks are stooges of PF, From Ms. Melu to current Minister of Finance.
      Lastly, where did you see anything mentioned that it can be associated with upnd?
      Can you occasionally use your pea-size brain for thinking, instead of crapping?

  4. We have a free market economy where grz is not suppose to bully companies into doing things. The biggest problem we have in this country is we consumers are weak. Look at the quality of our mobile phone service?? Same with banks. In Nigeria, they sort out such problems by taking consumer action in masses. Why wait for grz to do everything??? If 80% of account holders met and decided to close their accounts at the same time, the banks would listen.

    • In the US banks were charging exorbitant fees especially overdraft fees that were disproportionately affecting the poor. When Obama became president he put an end to it. So it is not unusual for government to intervene and set up banking laws. Financial laws are long overdue in Zambia. Money laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes are rife in Zambia became we have no financial and banking laws to stop these activities.

  5. Shouldn’t CUTS at the very least acknowledge that this is a follow-up from Peter Sinkamba’s observation?

    • @Pakundya Salimbana: You are right. It would have courteous of CUTS to acknowledge this as a follow-up to the point earlier made by Peter Sinkamba. Otherwise, that is tanatamount to pragiarism

  6. They encouraging us to keep money at home…why should I always pay for accessing my money??
    Let them not complain when few people will be keeping money in the Banks. We will start withdrawing at once and keep it at home.

  7. pa Zambia na pena…everything is so freaking complicated and expensive. even transactions that are done electronically and require very little if any human effort have huge service charges attached.
    even banks conduct their business transactions like ba kaponya
    I find that most Zambians are too…. I don’t know what the right word is. polite or afraid to ruffle the feathers. they don’t fight for their right. there’s a bad culture all around where they accept mediocrity as a new normal and complain to the wrong audience instead of confronting those that screw them directly.
    if you want to usher in change, you’ve to be prepared to stand up and say no and fight the power!

  8. Do we have Trading Standards in Zambia which is backed by SI? Surely you can not rely on Banker Association to protect rights of consumers…if everyone went to their MPs you would see changes …

  9. Mushota, are you saying the money didn’t smell while you had it here in Zambia and only started to smell bad when you reached your destination? I suspect the smell came from your room for it was closed for sometime while away. By the way why take the Zambian Kwacha to the unknown destination? No wonder the economy is not doing well because your type keep taking the money out of circulation.

  10. @ Zambian has a point. The GRZ has no mandate to dictate but us the people with money in those banks have. The Government can do so much and the rest is our baby. I have equally noted that the Banks trade in 50s and limit to 3000 per go so that many attempts can be had in order to satisfy one’s requirement. While we call it cheating they call Bank gymnastics for survival.

  11. Really banks are over charging us, like these are other banks not to mention them.least charges is k120 that’s is if you want to withdraw from inside and it even goes up-to k265 just charge per transaction which is alarming us now and if you have k500.000 in your account just know that k5000 it’s for charges that is for you to withdraw the money and it becomes too expensive when you are withdrawing in installments so please let the customer consumer organization sniff into this matter we are being exploited.

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