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Tajikistan: Banking Crisis Nears Cracking Point

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (center) attends the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the opening of a new branch office of Tojiksodirotbank in the region of Darvoz in late July 2015. Tojiksodirotbank, Tajikistan’s second-largest private lender, is running out of cash for its depositors to withdraw. (Photo: Tajik Presidential Press Service)

Tajikistan’s banking system is edging closer to the precipice. Panic is spreading among customers at the country’s second-largest private lender, which services swaths of government workers and employees at international organizations.

Tojiksodirotbank’s cash dispensers are running dry. Customers are signing up to waiting lists in their thousands to withdraw whatever money they can. People whose salaries are transferred through the bank have not been paid for three months.

Firuze, a health worker with the state’s National Medical Center, said that when she saw the waiting list for hopeful Tojiksodirotbank depositors awaiting consultations had reached 3,000, she decided to swallow the added fee of withdrawing her savings from another lender.

“I am paid 50 somoni ($6.35) per shift, and I have four shifts per month. When I withdrew money from another bank, I was charged a 35 somoni commission. But nobody listens to our complaints,” she told EurasiaNet.org.

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Tajikistan: Banking Crisis Nears Cracking Point

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