Ecobank has a useful Q&A for clients regarding the recently announced separation of bank accounts into the so called ‘FCA Nostro and the FCA RTGS.’ I still grimace to think that J P Mangudya calls the RTGS account ‘FCA.’
Here’s Ecobank’s Q&A:
Q: What is a Nostro FCA
A: This is an account specifically opened by the Bank to house offshore proceeds and USD cash deposits
Q: Why Is It Important to have the Nostro FCA account opened,
A: The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through the recent Monetary Policy Statement pronounced by the Governor on 1 October 2018 advised that this move is to strengthen the multicurrency system, enhance business viability, improve market confidence requested Banks to separate locally generated funds from Offshore proceeds and hard USD cash deposited by clients. This move will therefore enable the customer to keep proper track of their funds in actual USD deposited by the respective customer which assures them access to those funds in USD when required.
Q: Is it mandatory for one to open the Nostro FCA?
A: No it is not mandatory. The account is to safeguard or guarantee customers with offshore funds or hard currency under this Multicurrency regime of their funds on demand from Banks without having to queue for the funds when they want to utilise them. Therefore a customer who does not earn foreign currency through remittances or without access to hard currency does not need to open one.
Q: Am I guaranteed that I will get my funds in USD if I place them in the Nostro FCA?
A: Yes, that is the point of separating the local funds from offshore and USD cash deposits to ensure that funds are readily available and not mixed with locally generated deposits.
Q: Can I fund my Nostro FCA from RTGS FCA?
A: No, the account can only take deposits in hard currency (Cash) or funds transferred from Offshore
Q: If I move the funds from my Nostro FCA to RTGS FCA at what rate is it?
A: The current exchange rate is 1:1
Who remembers the rhetoric when the Bond Notes were introduced? We were promised that whoever wanted to withdraw their money as USD hard currency or to pay for stuff outside the country could do so. Before we knew it, we had to fill in forms asking for permission to buy anything outside the country and that request was not guaranteed to be honoured!
Forget about withdrawing hard currency, you were lucky to get a couple of $2 Bond Notes. Suddenly, banks could no longer process stuff like DSTV payments without you having given them USD in cash. Wait, what of the USD I gave you initially? Ask that to your mother dude…
We wait to see if the RBZ can be trusted for the third or is it fourth time. But if we are all waiting to see, who will indeed deposit money into the FCA Nostro?
If you don’t play ball the ref will make you
The answer to that question above is easy. The powers that be will change the rules on all of us if we refuse to deposit into the new account. One, they will make it mandatory that all diaspora remittances be received into the FCA accounts.
They are already outlawing holding money that you earned out there beyond the borders in the place you earned it, it’s called ‘externalizing.’
You can be unlucky to find yourself on a name and shame list whose sole purpose is to be published and then nothing happens.
If indeed we use the FCA Nostro accounts or are forced to and we want to withdraw all our money as soon as it lands into the accounts, will they let us? To answer with another question: if we can still withdraw the money and burn it or do whatever we want with it then what will be the point of going out of their way creating the FCA Nostro?
If it takes you time to comprehend: the answer is that the powers that have forever been do not want you to have freedom over your money. They want you to use their made up money: RTGS. They still maintain that their make believe money trades 1:1 with the USD.
Ok so if you are curious about the RTGS system and the whole payments infrastructure in Zimbabwe then you want to buy the Techzim Insights Report on this subject. It’s only $9.99 by EcoCash below: