Personally I believe that commercial banks need to take a large part of the blame for the shortage of forex in the country. It is no secret that many, if not all, Malawian businessmen of Middle Eastern and Asian origin do not keep their money in banks but prefer to keep their cash in safes at home or at their offices, and a majority of this cash is mainly in foreign currency, and after dealing with Malawian banks I personally do not blame one bit.
Malawian banks are so greedy and give us their customers, raw deals and poor quality of services. They do not practice good business ethics or carry out good investments but rather just steal from their customers. To get a loan is very difficult, they will demand collateral in the form of a car or house for even the smallest amount, which I find it ridiculous because if my salary is deposited straight into my account how will I be able to default or miss a payment on my loan, my salary being deposited into their bank is collateral enough, , and when we opening an account with a bank we do it in good faith, we do not ask for guarantees or collateral in case the bank goes bust and loses all our money.
Furthermore the interest charged on the loan is just too much compared to what they pay us for the savings we deposit with them. Come on seriously ,they want us to pay back up to 23% interest when the best savings account they offer us only pays back 6% interest, they take our money make investments with it make high earnings and barely pay us back peanuts on interest on our savings.
So with that in mind how would anyone who has worked so hard to run an export business, whilst getting little or no help from commercial banks, which brings in forex, be willing to take their hard earned dollars or Euros and give them to these thieving banks? Personally I do not care what the law says, if your own personal efforts brought in that forex then it is your property and it is you prerogative to remit or not to remit it to a commercial bank and honestly those thieving banks will buy the forex from you cheaply and when you need to import raw materials again they will sell it to you expensive or say there is no forex available, and the process for applying for the forex is long and tiresome.
So just save yourself the hassle and keep the forex to yourself so that it shall be at your disposal anytime you need it. Honestly the only reason I have a bank account is because I worry that I would spend all of my meager salary within a week if I kept it under my mattress.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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