The central bank last week announced a new regulatory framework guiding foreign exchange operations in the country. According to the revised framework, the minimum operating capital was raised to Rwf50 million, up from Rwf20 million, and operators are required to install management information systems and employ more qualified personnel, among other requirements.
The development is expected to help streamline the sector as well as promote professionalism and fair competition among operators. In addition, these measures could help modernise the sector, improve security and ensure the industry is run more professionally.
This is a step in the right direction considering the challenges faced by the sector, including unethical practices and unqualified operators. However, considering that the new guidelines were to take immediate effect, the National Bank of Rwanda should give bureau de change operators support as embark on the implementation exercise. It should also provide a grace period of sorts since one cannot raise Rwf30 million additional capital or identify and recruit the right staff overnight.
There is also the issue of business disruptions and job loss, which is why sector players should be given a grace period to implement the new guidelines. This is for the good of everyone involved.
The regulator should work to ensure a smooth transition as it moves to strengthen the sector and make it more competitive, secure and professional.
The firms also need to mobile more resources to put in place ICT infrastructure and other requirements as provided for under the new rules.