RBZ Limits Bank Transfers
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has directed banks to limit internal bank transfers to cripple the foreign currency black market. The central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) today directed all banks to limit internal transfers to a maximum of just 2 per customer per day.
iHarare has noted that the authorities have however not made any changes to the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) although they cautioned banks to be more vigilant.
The Zimbabwe Dollar has been in free fall against major currencies in the last few months and the monetary authorities have been battling to control the fall. The central bank has accused the illegal forex dealers of precipitating the collapse of the Zimbabwe Dollar. In the last few weeks, the RBZ froze thousands of mobile money accounts belonging to EcoCash agents. The central bank also imposed strict restrictions on EcoCash and Steward Bank.
This did not end there, however. The FIU also directed all banks to lower daily and monthly ZIPIT limits. ZIPIT users who had been able to transfer a maximum of ZWL$100 000 per day and ZWL$3 million per month have now been reduced to just ZWL$20 000 per day and ZWL$100,000 per month.
Below is part of the latest directive from the FIU to all the banks:
Measures to prevent abuse of internal bank transfers for illegal foreign currency transactions
Further to our circular to banks dated 26th of May 2020, titled “Enhanced Scrutiny of Transactions”, we have noted the increasing abuse of the internal bank transfers facility for purposes of parallel market dealings.
We have noted a trend where entities are using their bank accounts to buy foreign currency, using a network of “runners”, some of whom have been advertising their services on social media. These illicit transactions manifest in the form of daily multiple payments from one account to beneficiaries who hold accounts in the same bank.
In order to curb this practice, banks are directed to implement the following measures, with immediate effect.
1. Each bank customer shall make not more than two transactions per day by way of internal transfer, regardless of the values involved.
There is no restriction on RTGS transfers, but banks should exercise necessary due diligence.
2. Where a customer has genuine and proven need to conduct more than two transactions in a day by way of internal transfers, the customer shall obtain approval from bank management (whether at head office or branch level). Banks shall submit daily returns to the FIU giving details of such transactions and the underlying business purpose.
More Details To Follow
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