A year ago, at the beginning of 2021, the National Bank of Ethiopia banned making over five cash transfers a week from a single bank account to multiple accounts. The ban discouraged the parallel exchange market due to many bank transfers.
Commercial banks embraced the decision with hopes that it would prevent the cash-hoarding practices. It included all forms of transfers, including mobile or internet banking, ATM, Point of Sale (PoS) machines, and electronic accounts that operate through mobile money services. However, it was not relevant for utility payments, buying mobile top-ups, making salary payments, and transactions produced by financial institutions.
On January 5, 2021, the NBE lifted this ban, stating that they had met their target and removed the ban to address the adverse effects of financial exchanges. However, the NBE mentioned that other restrictions, including the withdrawal limit introduced last year, are still effective.