Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor Jesimen Chipika will grace this year’ Zimbabwe Independent flagship Banks and Banking Survey earmarked for tomorrow in Harare.

The main aim of the event, organised by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), is to award banks that have performed exceptionally well over a given period. AMH are the publishers of NewsDay, The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent and also runs an online radio station HSTv.

The awards will be based on the findings for the 2019 half year.

The event comes at a time banks are reeling from an overabundance of constraints which include liquidity challenges, shortage of foreign currency, slow foreign direct investment inflows, high interest rate rates, adverse economic evolution and a supressed performance of banks’ loan portfolios.

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This came about following a shift in the currency terrain after the introduction of Statutory Instrument 133, which paved the way for the re-introduction of the Zimdollar, after it was rendered useless by inflation a decade ago.

This year’s survey is themed Return of the Zimdollar Transition to Normalcy?

The Banks and Banking Survey was launched in 2009, and is held every year to analyse key ratios, as well as the balance sheet size and profitability of all the registered commercial banks and building societies operating in the country.

Lead researcher Respect Gwenzi from Equity Axis said it has become apparent, from this survey, that although all banks reported positive and improving face value earnings, the weakening exchange rate is reducing the purchasing power of the earnings in real terms.

“Most income lines, therefore, show slow to negative growth when adjusted for inflation. Banks have not been responsive in terms of adjusting interest rates and fees on transactional business to counter the impact of inflation. This is mainly because of industry regulation which is guided by the central bank” he said.

Last year, CABS emerged the top-performing bank with CBZ coming in second position.