Ver Angola

Banking and Insurance

Banks recognize pressure from lack of foreign exchange

Banks recognized the pressure from customers due to the lack of foreign exchange in their operations, saying that they have done everything possible to meet their needs, given the marked shortage that has been recorded since 2023.

: Lusa

"There is a decrease in the supply of currency that has been occurring since last year and this has an impact on the system," said the consultant to the management of the Angolan Banking Association (Abanc), Ondjoy de Barros, in an interview with Lusa.

According to the official, the decrease in the supply of currency in Angola has been registered since last year, recalling that the National Bank of Angola (BNA) and the National Treasury "occasionally" channeled currency to the market, "but the scenario has changed".

"The decrease in foreign exchange is a reality [but] the demand for foreign exchange has not decreased, there is pressure on foreign exchange and, therefore, that is why it is now a little more difficult for customers to obtain foreign exchange, but banks they have tried to satisfy their customers' needs as much as possible", he highlighted.

The monthly supply of currency in Angolan banks fell to 600 million dollars (588 million euros) in 2023, compared to 1.2 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros) in 2022, said the Abanc consultant.

According to Ondjoy de Barros, the country's need for foreign exchange to import goods and equipment in 2023 was around 1.9 billion dollars.

"Not even last year was this demand fully satisfied", he noted, pointing to the drop in production and the reduction in export revenues from oil and diamonds as factors contributing to the reduction in exchange rates in the country.

For the economist, only when the country achieves effective diversification of the economy and replaces imports with domestic production will the foreign exchange market be able to find "more stability".

Angolan commercial banks, he highlighted, also face challenges, in light of the country's current macroeconomic situation with "high interest rates", there is now "the issue of currency (the kwanza in devaluation), inflation, the availability of currency", he said.

"This year we have a more challenging macroeconomic context, banks must be more resourceful to satisfy customers, however banks are also well prepared, they are well capitalized to face the challenges ahead", concluded the Abanc consultant.

The BNA governor recently admitted that there is less currency available due to the reduction in export revenues, but said that banks have been buying, so there is no justification for them not making foreign currency available to their customers.


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