Zimbabwe Limits Bank Transfers to Curb Parallel Currency Trading

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s central bank is limiting the number of internal bank transfers customers can make to two a day, as the central bank moves to curb trading in the parallel currency market.

Some “entities” were using their accounts to purchase foreign currency using a network of buyers, the Harare-based central bank said in a letter dated June 4 and seen by Bloomberg.

“These illicit transactions manifest in the form of daily, multiple payments from one account to beneficiaries who hold accounts in the same bank,” the central bank’s financial intelligence unit said in the letter.

The new measure follows a limit imposed last month by the central bank on the amount that banks may transfer via a payment platform with 2 million users. Companies that need to make more than two internal bank transfers a day will need to obtain approval from the lender’s management, it said. Central bank Governor John Mangudya was in a meeting and unavailable when sought for comment.

The Zimbabwean dollar trades at about 76 to the U.S dollar on the parallel market, while authorities have pegged the exchange rate at 25 to the greenback.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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