THE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has, with immediate effect, reduced daily and monthly transaction limits for all bank clients.
By Nkululeko Sibanda
RBZ’s FIU director general, Wonder Kapofu, in a letter to Cyril Nyatsanza, the Chief Executive Officer of Zimswitch, said the monetary authority had revised, downwards, the daily and monthly transactional limits for all bank clients in a move aimed at arresting the abuse of the electronic money transfer systems to fund the operations of the parallel market for foreign currency..
“The FIU has noted that existing ZIPIT transaction limits which have no monthly caps are being abused, primarily for illicit foreign currency transactions,” Kapofu said.
“The current limits of ZS$100 000 per day allow a customer (subject to any bank-specific limits) to move ZW$3 million per month, using a single account, and much more if he/ she is multi-banked and/or uses third party accounts.
“The FIU has noted KYC (Know Your Clients) shortcomings in the ZIPIT system that make it difficult for banks, regulators and law enforcement agencies to speedily identify counter-parties to a transaction, or to identify multi-banked users,” Kapofu added.
He said in order to ameliorate the situation, the central bank had resolved to reduce the daily and monthly transactional limits.
“Until such a time when adequate safeguards are built into the ZIPIT system to minimize the money laundering risk, Zimswitch is directed to implement, with immediate effect, daily and monthly ZIPIT limits to ZW$20 000 and ZW$100 000, respectively,” Kapofu said.
He highlighted that the limits had been set using salary and income benchmarks of many Zimbabweans across the board.
“The limits have been arrived at cognizant of the reality that very few Zimbabweans earn more than $100 000 per day, and those who do have other payment options available for higher value transactions,” Kapofu said.
Last week, the central bank introduced new high denomination notes in what it said was a move to increase and improve money supply and circulation in the country.
However, the move immediately resulted in the spike in the parallel market rates, with the US dollar trading as high as 1:70 on the parallel market