RUSTENBURG – Two Zimbabwean banks have been removed from the US sanctions list, state media reported on Friday.
According to a report in daily newspaper The Herald, Agribank and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) have now been fully removed from the US sanctions list, allowing them to do international business more easily and obtain lines of credit.
The two banks were put under US sanctions in July 2008. In April 2013, sanctions were partially lifted by the issuance of a licence permitting business with the two banks subject to limitations.
In February 2016, they were removed from the sanctions list, but the licence requirements remained. These have now been removed with effect from May 22 by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury, the daily reported.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported that Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the removal would help the banks access credit lines and remove any restrictions that pertain to know-your-customer challenges, which is what happens when a bank is in the spotlight.
“Now that they (sanctions) have been lifted, the banks will find it easier to do business going forward. So this is a very welcome development indeed,” he said.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the lifting of sanctions on the two banks was “a progressive and welcome development that is as a result of us finding each other’s chemistry between Zimbabwe and the US”.
He said Zimbabwe was looking forward to further progress in terms of lifting sanctions on other entities in the country.
Moyo said Zimbabwe had moved from a point where the two countries were not talking to a point of dialogue. He hoped that the sanctions would eventually be lifted as the country pursued its re-engagement initiatives.