Wednesday, 20 April 2022

RBZ SUSPENDS THREE INSTITUTIONS OVER EXCHANGE CONTROL VIOLATIONS

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) today punished three institutions for violating foreign exchange control regulations, which form part of malpractices believed to be fanning economic instability.

The latest development is part of a broad measures by the monetary authorities as they zero in on errant institutions and individuals causing volatility of the exchange rate, which has manifested in resurgent inflationary pressures in the economy.

To that end, Metbank Limited has been suspended from operating as an authorised dealer while Simbisa Brands, a quick service business listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), has also been directed to cease operating its money transfer service, InnBucks.

Rolink Finance (Private) Limited, which operated as a bureau de change, has also been suspended from trading after being accused of breaching foreign exchange rules.

“The bank wishes to advise the public that it has, with immediate effect, suspended Metbank Limited from operating as an authorised dealer pending full investigations for breach of exchange control regulations relating to trading in foreign currency.

“Metbank will not be permitted to deal in foreign currency, that is buying and selling foreign currency, and processing international and domestic foreign currency transactions, until further notice,” said the monetary authorities.

The apex bank said the suspension of Metbank Limited’s authorised dealership licence did not relieve the institution of any outstanding obligations it incurred or had at the time of the suspension of the licence.

On InnBucks, the RBZ said last November it directed InnBucks to apply for and obtain necessary approvals to continue offering its service.

To date, the company had not yet regularised the service as directed by authorities, hence the inevitable regulatory intervention by the central bank.

“The cessation of the service means that customers shall no longer be able to deposit funds into the InnBucks account or transfer the funds to third parties.

“However, customers may redeem their balances for cash or goods at Simbisa Brands (Private) Ltd outlets within a period of 30 days from the date of this press statement.”

The RBZ said Rolink Finance had been suspended for breaching the Exchange Control (Authorised Dealers with Limited Authority) Order, Statutory Instrument 104 of 2015 and Exchange Control Circular Numbet 2 of 2021 issued to authorised dealers with limited authority (ADLAs).

“The suspension of its operating licence does not relieve Rolink Finance (Private) Limited of any outstanding obligations it incurred or had at the time of suspension of the licence.

“For the said exchange control violations, a penalty of US$120 000 or its equivalence in Zimbabwe dollar has been levied against Rolink Finance (Private) Limited,” said the Reserve Bank.

Early this month, RBZ moved in to curtail resurgent inflation (price increases) in the economy and stabilise the volatile parallel market exchange rate when its Monetary Policy Committee significantly increased the key interest rates and further cut down the quarterly money supply growth target. Herald

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