BUJUMBURA January 16th (ABP) – The Governor of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB), Mr. Dieudonné Murengerantwari, hosted a press briefing on Friday January 13, 2023 to issue a press release aimed at limiting cash withdrawals.
Mr. Murengerantwari first pointed out that the BRB is currently observing a gradual improvement in financial products and services offered by loan, microfinance and payment institutions. He indicated that in order to support those good initiatives already undertaken, reduce the manipulation of Cash, modernize the field of exchange and above all fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the central bank has taken measures.
Indeed, the governor of the central bank declared that any account holder with a loan or a microfinance institution can only withdraw in cash an amount less than or equal to 15,000,000 BIF (fifteen million Burundi francs) per day and BIF 100,000,000 (one hundred million Burundi francs) per month. It is also only authorized to pay in cash an amount less than or equal to 20,000,000 BIF (twenty million Burundi francs) per day. Beyond that ceiling, the origin of the funds must be justified. For foreign currency accounts, he added, amounts equivalent to ceilings in BIF at the central bank’s average exchange rate of the day, are considered.
Mr. Murengerantwari also specified that the measures relating to withdrawals and deposits come into force respectively from January 16, 2023 and February 15, 2023, and apply to both natural and legal persons. Before the agreed deadline, account deposits and withdrawals are free.
With regard to exchange bureaus, the BRB informs the public that it has already received 14 license application files, including 4 incomplete files, 2 files currently being processed, 6 exchange bureaus which have already had tentative agreement for the opening namely Empire Forex Bureau, Global Forex Bureau, Jimbere Forex Bureau, Trust Forex, Aura Forex and Triumph Forex. There are also two exchange bureaus, visited on their request, having obtained the final agreement. These are Issa Face à Face Forex change and special Forex.
With regard to the conditions of purchase and sale of currencies, the BRB would like to inform the offices already approved that they are authorized to sell currencies at the market price without exceeding 2% compared to their purchase price and in strict compliance with foreign exchange regulations. The governor of the BRB also clarified that the exchange offices are required to pass all the daily operations of purchase and sale of currencies in the management software of the Bureaus of exchange – Burex – and to issue the exchange slips to their customers for each transaction performed. In addition, the volume of transactions must be traceable on the foreign exchange transaction accounts opened in commercial banks for both withdrawals and payments, and avoid keeping large sums of cash in the coffins of the Bureaus of exchange, he insisted.