Ver Angola

Banking and Insurance

Regulator calls BIC after announcement of layoffs

The National Bank of Angola said, this Thursday, that it wants to hear from the administration of the Banco Internacional de Comércio (BIC) about the intention to close branches and lay off workers, to understand the reasons behind this decision.

: Valor Económico
Valor Económico  

Speaking to journalists, on the sidelines of the launch of the Banking in Analysis study, the deputy governor of the National Bank of Angola (BNA), Pedro Castro e Silva, said that he was informed about this intention by the media.

"[The banks] are responsible for preparing their business plans, but after the BIC's announcement, we will sit down with the bank to find out what underpins this decision", said the BNA official.

On Tuesday, the executive president of BIC, Hugo Teles, told Radio Nacional de Angola that the bank would close 40 of the 230 branches installed across the country and lay off around 400 workers, due to difficulties in purchasing currency.

Hugo Teles lamented the fact that the largest commercial banks in the national market, such as BIC, have more difficulties in obtaining foreign exchange than smaller banking institutions.

The deputy governor of the BNA admitted that the supply of currency is scarce compared to demand, but rejected that there is a lack of transparency, stating that "the market is free" and transactions are carried out on an electronic platform.

He also highlighted that those who buy more currency are the larger banks, but these are also the ones that have the greatest demand because they have more customers.

As for the supply of foreign exchange, "it has only been sufficient" when the price of oil is high, or there is more restraint in spending on imports of products and services, he added.

"As long as we are totally dependent on the outside world for the consumption of food and contracting of services, there will always be this pressure on the exchange rate and the supply of currency", highlighted the person in charge.

Regarding the trajectory of the inflation rate and the impact of the monetary policy measures that have been carried out by the central bank, he pointed out that the effects of these measures "have lags and are not felt from one month to the next", but said he believes in a reduction in the inflation rate over the next four to six months, if current policies are maintained.


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