Latest data from monetary authorities has revealed that Zimbabwe’s banking sector has since October 2018 registered a 45 percent rise in the uptake of the new nostro foreign currency accounts (FCAs).

The central bank’s reintroduction of the foreign currency accounts in October has seen industry and commerce embracing the initiative by opening hard cash accounts.

The RBZ separated the FCA accounts into two categories, namely nostro FCAs and RTGS FCAs.

While latest data show a 45 percent rise in the uptake of the nostro FCAs, it is the ability by the depositors to maintain the accounts that is under scrutiny, according to the University of Zimbabwe Department of Economics Chairperson Professor Albert Makochekanwa.

“We are not yet ready to assess the entire issue. However, it is subject to whether they can be able to maintain the accounts,” said Professor Makochekanwa.

Economist Mr Munyaradzi Mavesere noted that the effectiveness of the initiative also depends on the financial sector’s commitment to honouring transactions in terms of withdrawals by the depositors, providing relevant materials; facilitate savings, loans and affordable charges.

“The issue is all about market confidence so that the nation can reap better results from the hard cash inflows,” Mr Mavesere said.

According to the Monetary Policy Review Statement, the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has agreed to provide a $500 million guarantee to the new nostro FCAs, which have been created to cater for exporters and other foreign currency earners.