BOZ asks banks to look out for people trying to clean up hidden money during the debasing period
THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has urged commercial banks to report any suspicious transactions that will occur during the rebasing period to avoid cases where some individuals will take advantage of the situation to clean up cash that has been hidden.
BoZ rebasing project manager Morris Mulomba said any suspicious transaction should be reported to the central bank so that they are investigated.
“If people want to take advantage of rebasing so that they can try to clean up their money which has been hidden for some time, as long as commercial banks are alert which is normally there because they don’t want to affect their reputation because of one client, that information will come out and appropriate measures will be taken,” he said.
Mr Mulomba said this in Siavonga on Saturday during a discussion with commercial banks dubbed Kwacha Rebasing, Opportunities and Costs.
He said Kwacha rebasing is a national exercise that must be given the importance it deserves.
He said the success of the currency rebasing exercise will largely depend on the commitment and collaboration of all key stakeholders and the public.
Mr Mulomba said the rebasing of the Kwacha will lead to the replacement of all notes and coins currently in circulation by a new family of notes and coins.
The exercise will also involve a wider review of the currency and enhancing security features of the Kwacha notes.
He said during the transition period of six months, the old and rebased currency will circulate simultaneously.
He said through the transition period, prices of goods and services, other payment commitments, exchange rates and taxes will have to be adjusted to conform to the rebased currency.
Mr Mulomba said Government is rebasing the Kwacha to address costs associated with an accumulative loss the currency has suffered because of high inflation.
He said the rebased Kwacha will facilitate business transactions, simplify the arithmetic calculations, understanding, use and management of the currency.
“Rebasing leads to greater confidence in the currency. When there are many zeros, people lose confidence in the local currency,” he said.
He said the rebased Kwacha will provide opportunities for introduction of other technologies such as vending machines and car parking meters.
Mr Mulomba said the re-introduction of coins that last longer in circulation will result into savings on costs associated with printing of paper notes.
He said there are costs associated with rebasing that includes information collection, analysis, designing of banknotes, printing and minting of banknotes and coins, cash exchange programme and public sensitisation.
Other costs associated with currency rebasing include re-calibration of certain equipment such as automated teller machines, banknote counting machines and accounting software.
[Zambia Daily Mail]