RBZ says US$7,2 bln paid to FCAs last year

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By Alois Vinga

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says a total US$7,2 billion was paid out through Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) last year alone, indicating rising confidence in the local banking sector by members of the public.

Prior to the initiation of radical banking sector reforms in 2019, members of the banking public shunned using FCAs fearing that they would not be able to access their money at ease.

But in an update this week, RBZ governor, John Mangudya, revealed that out of the total foreign exchange payments for the period January 2022 to December 2022 of US$8,5 billion, a total US$7,2 billion was paid out through FCAs.

An analysis of payments made by the central bank during the year 2021 shows that US$4,4 billion was paid out to FCAs, signifying a 63,1% when compared to current figures.

The figures also confirm the increase in foreign currency inflows into the country as reported by authorities last year.

“In the month of December 2022 alone, the sum of US$24,2 million was allotted to 132 beneficiaries under the Main Foreign Exchange Auction and the sum of US$2,7 million was allotted to 207 beneficiaries under the SMEs Foreign Exchange Auction,” said Mangudya.

Cumulatively, a total US$1,1 billion was allotted on the auction platform for the entire year of 2022, with US$218,2 million being paid out on the interbank market.

The bulk of the auction allotments during the year were tilted in favour of supporting raw material needs, followed by machinery and equipment with the remainder going towards payment for services, consumables, retail and distribution among others.

“Total cumulative foreign exchange auction allotments since inception of the Foreign Exchange Auction System stood at US$3,7 billion,” said Mangudya.