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Cash crisis continues in Sudan, as banknotes printing face problems

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February 10, 2019 (KHARTOUM - Sudanese government has failed to end the cash crisis despite promises to resolve it through the printing of big new banknotes as banks are still unable to provide money to their customers.

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Sudan’s new currency sits behind a window at the central bank in Khartoum, Sudan, Sunday July 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Long lines of people who want to withdraw money are still waiting outside the Sudanese banks every day. Also, Sudanese line up to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATM)s, with dozens who abandoned their jobs and offices service.

Reliable sources told Sudan Tribune on Sunday about "complex" difficulties facing the printing of new banknotes in the Sudanese Money Printing Press, which contributed to the lack of funds for banks.

“The type of paper used in the printing was the principal cause of the problem, as it does not conform with the required specifications,” said the official who declined to be named because it is not authorized to speak to the press.

The sources said that the press however has so far been able to print only 17 million of 100-pound banknotes.

He added that the press used foreign experts to deal with intractable failures.

Plans were underway to print 100 million banknotes to curb the liquidity crisis in the first quarter of this year. However, this objective seems unlikely to reach, according to economists.

In October last year, the Bank of Sudan pumped huge amounts of cash to enable the banks to feed cash machines which set the withdrawal limit to two thousand pounds per day.

The confidence of customers in Sudanese banks has been shaken since mid-2018 after they failed to hand over money deposited in their accounts due to lack of liquidity.

In a workshop about the backing activities held by the economic sector at the ruling National Congress Party in June 2018, its bank’s division recommended issuing new banknotes of 100 and 200 pounds to enable the Central Bank to build cash reserves.

Also, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) said in a paper presented at the meeting that one of the reasons for the crisis of cash shortage is weak banking secrecy.

The analyses presented by NISS Secretary of the Banking Division Mohamed Abdel Rahim said that the war on corruption and currency traders led to disclose the accounts of a large number of people in the newspapers and social media, in clear violation of the principle of privacy and confidentiality.

As a result; the contributed to weakening and destabilizing the confidence of customers in the banking sector because they feel that their transactions are monitored and details can be easily obtained.

The lack of confidence pushed the customers to deposit their money in foreign accounts but also to withdraw it in a “way to make them feel safe”.

The paper said that the inability of banks to meet the needs of customers from criticism led to shake confidence in banks and refrain from dealing with them.

The NISS warned against the continuation of distrust saying that cash feeding will not resolve the problem because customers will continue to withdraw their deposits and the collapse of the banking system.

(ST)

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