Two Zimbabwean banks have been fully removed from the U.S. sanctions list with effect from Friday, after being on the list for more than a decade, local media reported Friday.
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced the move Thursday. The banks, Agribank and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, can now do international business more easily and obtain lines of credit.
The two banks were initially placed under the sanctions in 2008 and in 2013, the sanctions were partially lifted through the issuance of a license permitting business with the two banks subject to limitations.
In 2016, the banks were removed from the sanctions list but the license requirements remained.The license requirements have now been removed, paving way for more international business by the banks.
Zimbabwean Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube welcomed the removal of the sanctions on the two banks.
“Any removal of any institution, especially a financial one, is very positive indeed. This will help the bank access credit lines and remove any restrictions that pertain to Know-Your-Customer challenges, which is really what happens when a bank is in the spotlight,” he was quoted as saying by the state-controlled Herald newspaper on Friday.
Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo said the lifting of the sanctions on the two banks was a progressive and welcome development.The U.S. imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2003 following a fallout with Harare over alleged human rights abuses.