15 November 2012

Zambia: December 31 to Be Declared Banking Holiday

DECEMBER 31 2012, the day before the new Zambian banknotes and coins are rolled out to the public, is to be declared a banking holiday.

The Government will declare the day a banking holiday to allow financial houses to fully prepare for the official changeover of the rebased currency.

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) head of public relations Kanguya Mayondi said that a Statutory Instrument (SI) would be published on the declaration of December 31 as a banking holiday.

Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during a Press briefing, Mr Mayondi said that on that date banks would be closed to the public and that only the Automated Tailor Machines (ATM) would be operating.

"We intend to declare December 31 as a banking holiday, this is to allow banks to prepare for the following day which will be the official day of rolling out the rebased currency, but an SI will be published that will clearly state that December 31 will be holiday, we can't go without it, and note that the holiday is not for the public," he said.

Mr Mayondi challenged all financial institutions to ensure that they adequately prepared for the exercise.

"At this level I implore all financial institutions that are involved in the dispersing of money to ensure that they fully prepare for the exercise and be able to work with no problems and they should be as ready as we are," he said.

And commenting on the printing of the rebased currency, Mr Mayondi said the process was going on well and that next month the Central bank would start receiving the new notes.

Mr Mayondi added that BoZ was happy with the way commercial banks were responding to the rebasing exercise.

"We are happy with the way the banks have responded towards the rebasing exercise, it is interesting that some banks are more than ready to roll out come next year and we have covered about five and this will continue," he said.

He said that the central bank was aware the many people were not in of using coins, but that people should learn and accept change because it had come.

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