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Overview of Recent Notifications Issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar

Overview of Recent Notifications Issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar

April 23, 2021

Below is a brief summary of some of the recent directives and instructions issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”).

Minimum Reserve Requirement for banks

The CBM issued Directive 2/2021 on 16 February 2021 allowing banks to continue maintaining minimum reserve requirement at 3.5% (of the total MMK deposits made by customers) till 30 September 2021. Banks that fail to maintain this rate shall be subjected to penalties prescribed under Directive 12/2016 dated 22 September 2016.

Payments via digital payment platforms

The CBM issued a letter urging the public and businesses to use digital payments infrastructure on and from 1 March 2021. The letter lists the following instructions and requires banks and NBFIs to follow them:

  1. Cashless payments – payments by way of digital payment platform/account transfer should be prioritized;
  2. Limit on card/card-less withdrawals – maximum amount of up to MMK 500,000 can be withdrawn per day via ATM / POS (including card less withdrawal);
  3. Limit on cash withdrawals – individuals and companies are allowed to withdraw maximum amounts of up to MMK 2,000,000 and MMK 20,000,000, respectively, per week;
  4. Payment of wages/salaries – the banks will permit withdrawals by companies and government department for payment of wages/salaries of their workers after scrutinizing the balance in the account.

The Government departments and institutions will prioritize cashless payments via CBM-Net system, mobile banking system of private banks and by cheque.

Instructions to re-open bank branches

The CBM instructed banks via a letter dated 5 March 2021 to re-open branches in States and Regions from 8 March 2021 and take required security measures / arrangements to start operations.

Trading cash for profit – punishable offence

The CBM issued a warning via a letter dated 15 April 2021 against individuals hoarding and selling cash to those in need during the ongoing currency shortage. The letter states that such activity violates Section 99(b) of the Central Bank of Myanmar Law and violators will face action under the said law.

AUTHOR

Surath is a legal advisor in the firm’s Banking & Finance team. He advises international financial institutions, commercial banks and corporate borrowers in projects and inclusive finance transactions. He is registered as an advocate with the Bar Council of Delhi.


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