US$50 Now Limited To Pensioners, Elderly & Disabled As RBZ Accuses Citizens Of Abusing Facility
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has, with immediate effect, stopped the US$50 facility, which allowed citizens to purchase forex at the bank rate. Instead, the US$50 facility will now be limited to pensioners, senior citizens, people living with disability and those seeking medical attention.
The monetary authorities accused citizens of abusing the facility, which allowed ordinary people to buy a maximum of US$50 per week from bureaux de change at the official bank rate. Given that the bank rate is sometimes almost half of the prevailing street rate, there were huge opportunities for arbitrage, which some connected people readily took advantage of.
RBZ Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya announced the changes to the US$50 facility during his Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) on Monday. Said the governor,
The Bank availed the US$50 Facility to assist members of the public to access foreign currency for small domestic purchases and payments at the official exchange rate through bureaux de change which are allowed to charge up to 10% over the cost of funds.
The Bank, has, however, noted, with concern the abuses of this facility by some members of the public.
In this regard, the Bank is refining the US$50 Facility, with immediate effect, to limit it to the vulnerable members of the society, that is pensioners, senior citizens, people living with disability and those requiring forex for medical purposes.
The Reserve Bank also reviewed the limit for mobile banking transactions as follows:
- Person to business from ZW$20 000 to ZW$25 000 per transaction with a maximum limit of ZW$100 000 per week; and
- Person to person from ZW$5 000 to ZW$10 000 per transaction with a limit of ZW$70 000 per week.
The cash withdrawal limit was also increased for the banking public from ZW$2000 to ZW$5000 per week.
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