Banks comply with RBZ order
Harare (New Ziana) – Banks on Friday began complying with a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) directive to cut transfer limits that can be done using the ZIPIT platform as the fight against illegal foreign currency trading intensifies.
The RBZ said forex dealers had turned to ZIPIT, a platform that enables instant inter-bank funds transfers, after the central bank ordered a freeze of high volume Ecocash agent lines earlier this month.
The Ecocash agent lines were being used to facilitate black market foreign currency trading, which is blamed for fuelling inflation and devaluing the local currency.
The central bank on Thursday ordered Zimswitch, which runs the ZIPIT platform, to reduce amounts that can be transferred to ZW$20 000 a day from ZW$100 000, and from ZW$3 million a month to ZW$100 000.
But Zimswitch, in response, said it would limit ZIPIT transactions to one per day of maximum $3 000 in value.
Banks, among them Standard Chartered and Steward Bank, have already notified clients of the changes in compliance with the directive.
“Dear client, we are temporarily suspending ZIPIT services for some system upgrade. Please use alternative channels,” Stanchart advised its clients.
Analysts have said the latest RBZ move will massively hit on the operations of illegal foreign currency dealers, which will see the exchange rate on the parallel market, which once peaked at 70 to the greenback, going down.
The official exchange rate is currently fixed at USD1:ZW25.