The introduction in 1905 of the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) made banking generally accessible to Africans and white settlers in outlying districts. The bank emerged because of pressure from the press, white settlers residing in outlying districts, chiefly farmers, civil servants and small miners. The government acquiesced to this pressure with a view to then inculcate a saving culture. Although the POSB was primarily designed to benefit white settlers, it extended its services to Africans because of the assumption that Africans were hoarding coins and that this problem would be solved by extending banking services to them. More importantly, the ruling British South African Company (BSAC) also hoped to tap into a growing African agricultural based economy to complement the struggling mining sector. However, for many reasons, only a few Africans banked with the POSB, relative to the total African population in the country. The POSB's reluctant "inclusive" banking did not necessarily deracialize banking as Africans who banked with the POSB still experienced degrading treatment and were denied access to some facilities provided by the POSB. Moreover, alternative African economies were more lucrative and fully managed by the Africans themselves, hence the lower uptake of POSB banking services.


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pp. 54-91
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