Central Bank introduces new cross-border reporting system

Central Bank Governor Dr Phil Mnisi

By Phephile Motau

The Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) has deployed a new Cross Border Foreign Exchange Transactions Reporting System (CBFETRS) that seeks to enhance data collection on trade activity involving foreign currency to inform and improve policy decisions.

In a statement, the bank’s Governor Phil Mnisi said they were continually improving its supervisory tools in line with the Bank’s strategy.

“The reporting system will ensure that the country data collection practices align with Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) standards as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) reporting principles and processes,” Mnisi said.

He added that all Authorised Dealers (ADs) / Commercial Banks (First National Bank Eswatini, Nedbank Eswatini Limited, Standard Bank, Eswatini Bank) and Authorised Dealers with Limited Authority (ADLA) / Bureaus (Interchange Eswatini, Mukuru Financial Services, Swaziland Building Society) were expected to comply with the new reporting system standards.

Mnisi said these institutions (sometimes called Reporting Entities) have been part of the process as they were also developing internal systems that will integrate with the CBE system. The system which was under development since May 2020, has been deployed to production on March 20, 2023. It will be under a monitoring and stabilisation period to ensure that it operates optimally until June 30, 2023.

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He said while a well-planned sequence of events was followed by the Central Bank together with the Reporting Entities to ensure continuity in business processes, slight technical difficulties may be experienced.

“The Central Bank requests the public to be patient with the Reporting Entities. We are fully committed to working together to ensure a smooth transition and seamless experience for customers during this period,” the Governor said.

Mnisi said due to the enhanced data collection, the public may be required to submit more information to update their customer information files.

He further urged the public to cooperate with the Reporting Entities in that regard.

“It is through a comprehensive understanding of the economic activity that the Central Bank and the Government can make sound policy decisions to the benefit of the economy and the populace,” Mnisi said.

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