some Zimbabwean lenders were cutting interest rates and bank fees to comply with an agreement signed in January, central bank governor Gideon Gono said yesterday.

“It is heartening to note that some banks have already started to lower interest rates and bank charges,” the governor said at a meeting hosted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

An interest margin of no more than 12.5 percentage points above the banks’ cost of financing would ensure lending rates were probably less than 20 percent, Gono said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe, whose members include the local units of Barclays and Standard Chartered, reached a deal in January on interest rates and accounts for poor customers with lower bank fees. – Bloomberg