NBU eases number of restrictions on foreign exchange market
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) continued to gradually loosen and clarify the restrictions on the foreign exchange market, introduced on February 24, in order to ensure the reliable and stable functioning of the country's financial system in connection with the introduction of martial law, the regulator said on its website on Tuesday.
According to it, from March 8, 2022, the National Bank allowed clients in territories under the threat of occupation by Russia to withdraw cash in national and foreign currency from accounts without limits on the amount, as well as to purchase cash currency and bank metals with physical delivery if they are available in bank branch.
The NBU clarified that the decision to carry out such transactions is made by the head of the bank and can be delegated to the head of the branch of the bank.
The National Bank noted that the issuance of bank metals from the accounts of bank customers is carried out without restrictions within their balance on the account and if they are available at the cash desk of a branch.
The regulator also again expanded the exceptions to the ban on transactions from the accounts of residents of Russia or Belarus and legal entities which ultimate beneficiaries are residents of the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus. If earlier it was possible to pay from them in support of the Ukrainian army to the account of the National Bank and to the accounts of the Cabinet of Ministers and ministries, now social payments, salary payments, utilities, taxes, fees and other obligatory payments.
In addition, the NBU has expanded the opportunity for residents and non-residents to make transfers to the accounts of charitable foundations not only in hryvnia, but also in foreign currency. This applies to charitable foundations created to promote the country's defense capability and mobilization readiness, support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defense, social protection, healthcare and other topical issues of protecting the population under martial law.
The National Bank also provided an opportunity for banks to open accounts for military personnel and carry out their identification and verification using a military ID.
In addition, it was clarified that settlements under documentary and standby letters of credit/guarantees/counter-guarantees opened (confirmed, granted) since February 24, 2022 are prohibited. An exception is made only for cases when such settlements are made to pay for critical import goods, settlements with IFOs and other special operations of bank customers permitted by the NBU.
The National Bank emphasized that this ban does not apply to settlements under documentary and standby letters of credit/guarantees/counter-guarantees opened (confirmed, provided) until February 23, 2022 inclusive.
The National Bank also determined that in case of receipt of funds from abroad in Russian or Belarusian rubles for export/import of goods, banks are allowed to exchange these funds on the international currency market for another currency for its subsequent crediting to the client's accounts.
The relevant changes were made by Resolution of the National Bank Board of March 8, No. 44 on amendments to Resolution of the NBU Board of February 24, 2022, No. 18, which comes into force on March 8, 2022.