Burundi Central Bank closes all foreign currency exchange offices

Jean Ciza, Governor of Burundi Central Bank says foreign currency exchange offices didn’t respect the rules set for foreign exchange rate. “The foreign currency dealers bought dollars but they rarely supplied them to the clients,” says Mr. Ciza.

Jean Ciza: « The Central Bank must ensure the price stability”

He also says foreign currency dealers didn’t use BUREX, the software established by the Central Bank since September, 17, 2019.
“We regularly met to set those regulations but they violated them themselves,” he says adding that no foreign currency office is allowed to deal in foreign currency exchange from February 15.

He also says that all hoardings established by foreign currency offices must be removed and only commercial banks will be allowed to deal in foreign currencies.

Jean Ciza reassures that there will be no speculation. “It would have been better if foreign currency offices had respected the rules to continue working, but they didn’t. One of the National Bank’s missions is to ensure the price stability. Those who will not abide by this decision will be punished in accordance with the law,” he says.

This decision, which also concerns importers, aims to prevent the Burundian franc from depreciating, he adds.

The Governor of Burundi Central Bank also says importers will buy foreign currencies in foreign currency exchange offices established by commercial banks.
“A great part of the foreign currency was exchanged on black market and it became hard for the Central Bank to control the movement,” he says.

Mr. Ciza exhorts administrative officials and security forces to make sure the decision is respected in their localities.

According to the Central Bank rate, one USD is bought at BIF 1873, 9 and sold at BIF 1904, 2 while it is sold around BIF 2800 on the black market.