RBZ speaks on Coronavirus. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has spoken out on the coronavirus, a few days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the deadly disease a national disaster. After declaring the coronavirus a national disaster, the President suspended all public gatherings of more than 100 people for the next 60 days. Just yesterday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa also reconsidered his decision to keep schools, colleges and universities open, and directed that they should all be closed next week Tuesday.
iHarare has established that the central bank responded to the raft of measures to minimise the chances of contracting and transmitting the coronavirus by encouraging people to use electronic money and avoid going to physical branches. The RBZ announced that it is directing financial institutions to ensure that online banking services and payment services, as well as mobile money, do not go down.
Below is the statement from the central bank in its entirety,
PRESS STATEMENT ON PROVISION OF FINANCIAL SERVICES IN THE WAKE OF THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19)
As the public is now well aware, on 17 March 2020, the Government declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic a national disaster. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to advance across the world, disrupting the traditional provision of financial services.
Although the country has not yet recorded any confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) is working closely with financial service providers under its purview and other stakeholders to monitor and take appropriate precautionary measures to support the economy and minimise the adverse impact of the pandemic on the banking and transacting public, banks’ staff and overall stability of the financial sector.
In order to ensure that banking and payment services continue to be available at all times while promoting crowd containment and social distancing, financial service providers should ensure uninterrupted access to online banking and payment services including point of sale, international payments, real-time gross settlement, mobile banking, mobile money payments and remittance services. The banking and transacting public is encouraged to optimise use of available electronic and online banking services which remain the safest and most secure forms of transacting.
All financial services providers should promote high standards of hygiene to mitigate or minimise any possible transmission and to safeguard the health of the banking and transacting public as well as banks’ staff. In this regard, financial service providers must stand ready to activate their business continuity and contingency plans, where necessary, to deal with any adverse operational events as they may occur.
The Bank will continue to monitor the developments in the financial services sector to ensure that the sector remains stable.
J. P. Mangudya Governor 20 March 2020
Source – iHarare
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