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New regulations for Rwanda forex

Sector gets new information reporting and monitoring system

kampala, Uganda | STEPHEN NUWAGIRA | Forex bureau operators have until June to sign on to the new Rwanda Forex Bureau Association Information System (RFBAIS), according to their chairperson, Zephania Muhigi.

The new system is in line with the government’s push for adoption of technology across all sectors of the economy. Currently, many forex bureaus run manual operations and use different reporting systems; which makes it difficult for the association to track or collect information from members.

The Rwanda Forex Bureau Association Information System (RFBAIS) is a web-based platform designed to enable the association to collect and consolidate our information easily and fast.

It will also enable forex traders to monitor their revenues easily as it shows the financial position of a firm at any given time.

It is predicted that the RFBAIS will make forex bureaus more efficient and also help them to cut costs in the long-run.

Introduction of the information system, which is a central bank requirement, was first announced in March last year.

The regulations and requirements were expected to come into force by August last year. However, the deadline was extended to June 2018.

Among several other requirements, forex traders are expected to have management information system tools and modern technology equipment.

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) also revised upwards the minimum capital requirements for forex bureaus from Rwf20 million to Rwf50 million.

Qualifications and experience of personnel employed by currency trading firms were also reviewed. A manager of a forex bureau must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, management or any other field but with good understanding of foreign exchange operations, or five years of experience in forex bureau business, according to the new regulations. Senior managers should be graduates or holders of an A-Level certificate of secondary education (A2) with five years of experience in forex bureau operations.

Installation exercise for the Rwf70 million system will commence in May. The forex bureaus are paying slightly over Rwf1 million, including purchasing charges, hosting and licence fees on the new system, according to Muhigi.

Dealers speak out

The development has left some dealers on the edge, saying it will increase cost of operations which could push small firms out of business. But others are excited, saying the regulations will make the sector stronger.

Ornella Ineza, an accountant at Tweens Forex Bureau in Kimironko, says the minimum capital requirement, for instance, will enable firms to operate smoothly and reduce liquidity problems that were being experienced by some dealers. This will also support business growth and ensure the sector is strong.

Ineza, however, says that upcountry forex dealers may face challenges raising the Rwf50 million minimum capital requirements as per new regulations.

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