The RBZ has laid down regulations for citizens who earn in foreign currency. In a leaked circular from FBC bank, The Reserve bank allows citizens to earn forex but they can not withdraw their money without permission from the central bank.
Secondly, if the money is not used within a 30-day window, it will be liquidated at the prevailing interbank rate.
Below is the leaked memo from FBC.
In cases where the Exchange Control Unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has approved in writing the payment of salaries for a company/institution’s employees in USD, the following terms and conditions must be strictly adhered to;
• Funds should be transferred to individual NOSTRO FCAs for employees.
• There shall be no cash withdrawals from these particular accounts funded under this arrangement. However, should there be a genuine need for cash to be withdrawn from the accounts, specific applications must be made to the Reserve Bank and supported by letters written by the accountholders detailing the reasons and circumstances surrounding such requests. The absence of cash withdrawal facilities is also extended to offshore travellers who must load their MasterCard prior to departure.
• Where an account holder intends to conduct domestic transactions, such shall be done in line with SI 142 of 2019 where all such transactions should be done in local currency (for domestic transactions, funds in the accounts should be liquidated at the prevailing exchange rate)
• Foreign currency funds in these accounts may, however he used to settle bona fide foreign payments wherein the bank shall ensure that goods and services paid for are fully accounted for through submission of relevant documentation to be scrutinized and approved by either the Branch Operations Manager or Branch Manager who must annotate FOREIGN PAYMENT FROM THE NOSTRO FCA ACCOUNT APPROVED BY ME, record the full name, date, sign and quote the signing number and such documentation must be filed in the Exchange Control file and retained as an auditable item.
• Such foreign payments shall not include offshore investments or transfer to offshore accounts as well as domestic inter-FCA transfers.
• Branches must maintain a register for tracking the funds in the individual NOSTRO accounts and MasterCard to curb abuse and facilitate liquidation after the 30 day period. Prior to processing transactions for this category of account holders, a statement enquiry (operating account and MasterCard) to check and ensure that the transaction is within the limit of the amount authorized as per salary proceeds credited and that the MasterCard has not been reloaded from another branch.
• Any unutilized balances in the individual NOSTRO FCAs shall be compulsorily liquidated after thirty (30) days from date of salary payment at the prevailing interbank market rate. The onus is on the administering branch to ensure full compliance with the conditions of the RBZ approval, otherwise, we risk being fined which regrettably is unacceptable.
Please be guided accordingly and ensure there is strict adherence to the above requirements at all times.
Distributed to: Branches / Departments/ Divisions/Units By • Group Marketing Division