bank 27.10.10.jpgZimbabwe is set to launch the 2009 to 2010 Banks and Banking Survey early next month, amid concerns over a low deposit ratio which translates to unavailability of long term loans.

The survey comes at a time local industry is reeling under the unavailability of long term loans which are critical in ensuring increased production output.

Speaking to ZBC News, a representative of the sponsors of the survey, FBC Director e-Commerce, Mr Agrippa Mugwagwa said the survey encompasses the operational environment which prevailed during the year under review, adding that banks are currently working closely with regional financial institutions to acquire lines of credit for the local industry.

“The banks and banking survey will be launched next week with a view to share the challenges and the successes which the banking sector experienced during the year under review. There has been low deposit ration which forced the industry to resort to short-term loans though plans are underway to issue long term loans depending on deposits available,” said Mr Mugwagwa.

With 29 banking institutions in the local financial sector, arguments have been raised on whether the country is overbanked.

While the banks have been battling to compete for the subdued market, other analysts have concluded that the  financial institutions require aggressive strategies which include developing new products as well as looking for offshore funding in order to survive.

The absence of an adequately capitalised central bank and interbank market has impacted negatively on the operations of the banks which currently have a deposit base of around US$2 billion.