LATEST UPDATE: RBZ MAKES U-TURN
Following our report below in which the RBZ had instructed banks to freeze FCA nostro accounts, the central bank has refuted such claims and later on advised that only indviduals are still able to withdraw the cash.
The Tabloid Zim can exclusively report that such directive had been made as close sources who attended the meeting said that by end of day yesterday they were not issuing cash to clients. Today some banks were turning down clients who wanted to withdraw cash whilst some indicated that there was still confusion on which directives to follow as so many had been given.
“What is certain is that corporates cannot withdraw, but the issue of indviduals is still not clear and we are still waiting for confirmation before we issue cash” one of the bankers said on condition of anonymity.
In a rather bizarre move, the RBZ has advised banks that Nostro RTGS transfers are no longer allowed. This was communicated in a closed door meeting with banks today which sought to highlight more details on the administration of Nostro accounts following the introduction of the new Zimbabwe dollar through SI 142/2019.
Yesterday the Zimbabwe government banned the use of foreign currency in all local transactions and announced that it had introduced the Zimbabwe dollar back. Zimbabwe effectively dollarized in 2009 after a decade of hyperinflation which soon swapped into deflation. Events unfolding seems to be a cycle as today government has moved to seize all funds in the Nostro accounts.
In today’s meeting with banks, RBZ indicated that the nostro accounts will continue but only for imports and domestic and free funds will continue up to 30 June 2019. The accounts will not be closed, but however no cash withdrawals will be allowed. The funds in the Nostro accounts will strictly be used for payment of international obligations or else the holders will have to sell to banks at the inter-bank rate.
Tobacco growers will be entitled to retain 50% in USD in their Nostro accounts as before. However, for payment of local obligations the farmer will be required to convert to local dollars first on inter-bank market. Tobacco merchants will retain 100% for the purposes of buying tobacco. Payment of cotton farmers will continue as before. Small scale gold producers will remain the same and not subject to 30 day retention.