The year 2017 and 2018 were terrible years for Tanzania`s banking sector.
The sector was marked with incidents of banks registering high amounts of non-performing loans and others taking the hard decisions to lay off some staff and closing down some of their branches.
In order to prevent history from repeating itself, the country`s lending giants, the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) and CRDB Bank have resorted to increase their service charges between 30 and 50 per cent in an effort to cushion themselves from what happened in the past two years. These changes are expected to be in place with effect from February 2019. NMB customers will be expected to pay Tshs.6,500 ($2.82) to withdraw money from the counter, an increase of 61 per cent from Tshs.4,012 ($1.74) that use to be paid in the third quarter in 2018.
CRDB customers will be expected to pay Tshs.4,720 ($2) and Tshs.6,000 ($2.6) to withdraw money from the counter on their savings and current accounts, up by 33 per cent and 27 per cent from Tshs.3,540 ($1.5) and Tshs.4720 ($2) respectively. Cash withdrawals through the ATM within NMB, have been increased by 15 per cent and now stands at Tshs.1,150 ($0.5) from the previous Tshs.994 ($0.4).
On the other hand, charges for conducting cash withdrawals through a CRDB Bank ATM have been raised to Tshs.1,200 ($0.52) for those conducting the withdrawal through the same bank and those holding cards not for CRDB will have to pay Tshs.8,000 ($3.4). The prices have increased by 27 per cent and 125 per cent from Tshs.994 ($0.4) and Tshs.3,540 ($1.5) for the CRDB card bearers and non-bearers respectively. Similarly, a client will be required to pay Tshs.400 ($0.17) to access their account balance information, up by 12 per cent from Tshs.354 ($0.15).
NMB Bank has also introduced new charges which include the Electronics Fund Transfer (EFT) to other banks which will cost Tshs.2,000 ($0.8) and cheque deposits (inward clearing) valued at Tshs.1,000 ($0.4).
In 2018, NMB Bank saw its net profit dwindle to Tsh. 66.8 billion ($29 million) from Tsh.76.2 billion ($33 million) in the first half of 2017. CRDB Bank`s profits dropped to Tshs.30.8 billion ($13 million) in 2017 from Tshs.63.7 billion ($27.6 million) realized in 2016. The entire banking sector registered net profit amounting to Tshs.426 billion ($185 million) in the 2014 calendar year. The amount rose to Tshs.438 billion ($190 million) in 2015, but plummeted to Tshs.423 billion ($183 million) and Tshs.286 billion ($124 million) in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
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