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Protecting bank depositors key for confidence, trust, stability



ZIMBABWEAN legislators are currently debating a motion in Parliament to amend the Deposit Protection Act in order to strengthen mechanisms to defend ordinary depositors who are vulnerable in the event of a run on banks or closures.

Deposit protection is a system which protects depositors, be they individuals or businesses, against the loss of part or all of their eligible deposits in the event of failure of a contributory institution.

The deposit protection system in Zimbabwe is administered by the Deposit Protection Corporation.

MPs are proposing amendment of the law and new measures to protect bank depositors and punish bankers who get their institutions and clients into trouble.

This comes after many bank customers, including pensioners, have lost their savings due to poor management by the banks, mismanagement, corporate governance failures and corruption.

Protecting bank depositors is crucial for maintaining trust and stability in the banking system.  Here are some of the reasons why:

*Confidence: Depositor protection ensures that customers have confidence in the banking system, knowing their funds are safe and secure;

*Financial Stability: Protecting depositors helps prevent bank runs and financial contagion, maintaining stability in the financial system.

*Encourages Savings: Depositor protection encourages people to save and invest, promoting financial inclusion and economic growth;

 *Reduces Risk: Deposit insurance and protection schemes reduce the risk of depositors losing their funds due to bank failures or fraud,

*Supports Economic Growth: By maintaining trust and stability, depositor protection supports economic growth, job creation, and development.

*Protects Vulnerable Groups: Depositor protection is especially important for vulnerable groups like low-income individuals, seniors, and small businesses.

*Promotes Competition: Depositor protection levels the playing field, allowing smaller banks to compete with larger institutions.

*Enhances Reputation: Strong depositor protection enhances a country’s reputation as a safe and reliable place for banking and investment.

 *Reduces Systemic Risk: Depositor protection helps mitigate systemic risk, reducing the likelihood of widespread financial crises.

*Supports Financial Inclusion: By ensuring access to safe and secure banking services, depositor protection promotes financial inclusion and equality.

 By prioritising depositor protection, governments and regulatory bodies can foster a stable and trustworthy banking system, promoting economic growth and financial well-being for all.