The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has relaxed a limitation on the amount of money that can be withdrawn by clients in Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Sacco) across the country.
BNR said in a statement on May 6, that it has scrapped its earlier restriction which limited Saccos clients from withdrawing more than Rwf150, 000 per day.
The Saccos guidelines and restrictions also prohibited their managers from authorizing more than Rwf500, 000 in a week for their clients (in retail and food business) and limited members in saving groups from getting dividends beyond Rwf50, 000.
The guidelines had been enforced on March 24 just three days after the coronavirus lockdown was announced in Rwanda on March 21.
“The special withdraw measures for Saccos, that were put in place in an earlier announcement on March 24 have been scrapped so that members of the Saccos can operate their business without any restrictions,” Central Bank Governor John Rwangombwa said in a statement.
The National Bank of Rwanda however, said that Saccos will still have to abide by measures in place by the Central Bank such as social distancing, use of protective gear, and encouraging digital payment systems.
In the meantime, BNR said that it has up to six months to assess what kind of impact Covid-19 has had on the economy but remained vigilant to support the financial sector to ensure that financial institutions continue to operate and provide the services to their clients without any impediment.
Among these, the Central Bank has opened an extended liquidity lending facility of up to Rwf50billion which will help cushion banks from liquidity challenges.
The facility will be available for 6 months and aimed at ensuring that banks can borrow more money to lend out at the Central Bank lending rate which has been reduced from 5% to 4.5%.