The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has restricted the withdrawal of United States Dollars from Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) and Prepaid Mastercard Accounts.
This was revealed by an FBC Bank internal circular which stated that the central bank directed that no cash withdrawals will be made from FCAs unless there are specific reasons and applications approved by the RBZ. Part of the circular reads:
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 However, should there be a genuine need for cash to be withdrawn from the accounts, specific applications must be made to the Reserve Bank and supported by letters written by the accountholders detailing the reasons and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 travelers who must load their MasterCard prior to departure.
The development comes when the country is having a huge foreign currency deficit particularly after the closure of the tobacco sales season.
Foreign currency is on high demand considering that the government businesses and individuals import virtually everything as the local industry is grounded.