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Lending Ban Interim Measure to Halt 61% Zimbabwe Currency Crash

  • Banks join long list of businesses under state scrutiny
  • Zimbabwe dollar is worst-performing currency this year
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe tower in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe tower in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Updated on

Zimbabwe has adopted its harshest solution yet to halt a currency crisis -- ordering banks to immediately stop all lending.

The southern African nation’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, blames banks for flooding the financial system with excess funds, fueling a currency slide and inflation. The weekend directive to freeze loans is the latest in a series of orders since 2020 aimed at supporting the local unit and thwarting a flourishing black market. The Zimbabwe dollar, reintroduced in February 2019, has crashed 61% this year, making it the worst performing currency in the world.