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CBS announces operational measures in view of the COVID-19 situation | 23 March 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic with cases of the disease confirmed locally, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) is taking proactive measures aimed at maintaining a safe operation while ensuring that it continues to deliver on its objectives.

These measures are being implemented to minimise the impact of the situation on the delivery of the functions of the CBS, as well as to safeguard the health and safety of the staff and general public.

While CBS has a business continuity plan which allows for its staff to work remotely, the institution is cognisant that the services and support provided to its stakeholders and the general public, although reduced, should not be disrupted.

Hence, as from today, Monday March 23, 2020, the CBS will be effecting some changes with regard to some of its operational services offered to the general public.

Banking services

  • Over-the-counter services requiring the handling of cash and cheques pertaining to the sale of all numismatic items, exchange of demonetised banknotes and coins with members of the public will be suspended until further notice.
  • Cash deposits and withdrawals by government ministries and departments, cashing of government cheques by government agencies and individuals and cheque deposits will be maintained.
  • Operating hours for services offered over-the-counter in the banking hall remains between 8.30am and 12.30pm.
  • The CBS is working in close collaboration with its stakeholders – namely commercial banks, the Seychelles Credit Union, government ministries and departments, as well as parastatals – that will require services for receipts and payments both in rupees and foreign exchange. These transactions will be done via electronic transfers and instructions for the processing of same will only be accepted in electronic format – that is through email.
  • For customers accessing the CBS banking hall, a hand sanitising station has been set up at the entrance. Customers will be directed to use hand sanitiser upon entering and after conducting their transactions.

 

Administration of government securities

The CBS has also established processes for the issuance and management of government securities, particularly Treasury Bills, to ensure that government can continue to raise funds from the market to finance expenditure needs.

As of the week starting today, submission of Tender Forms for Treasury Bills will

be done electronically. The prescribed tender form is available on the CBS website and completed forms can be submitted via email to tbillsauction@cbs.sc before 8.30am on auction day.

Details of each Treasury Bills auction including the auction date, indicative issuance amount and issuance date will be posted on the CBS website. An announcement of the auction date will be made on television, three working days prior. A remote procedure has also been clearly established to allow CBS and the Allotment Committee members to conduct the necessary processes of Treasury Bills auction.

The sale of the PMC Bond also remains open and similarly the process will be done electronically. Individuals or legal entities can download the application form on the CBS website and submit same via email to fmd@cbs.sc.

For both Treasury Bills auctions and PMC Bond applications successful bidders and applicants will continue to be informed through text messages, email or phone call. However, payment for successful bids and bond applications will be accepted through Bank Transfer only.

Further, face-to-face assistance to members of the public requiring guidance on the bidding process and bond application is being suspended. Customers will be assisted remotely, that is by telephone on 4282000 and via email to fmd@cbs.sc.

 

Complaints handling

The CBS will continue to deal with complaints from the public against institutions falling under its regulatory purview if these complaints have not been resolved after first being referred to the concerned institutions. Nevertheless, this will not be done face-to-face, but through remote means of communication, that is by telephone and email.

For enquiries about services offered by CBS and complaints against institutions under its regulatory purview, the public should contact the CBS number 4282000, where an automated system is being put in place as from today to ensure that they will be effectively directed for appropriate guidance or support. The public can also email info@cbs.sc as from today for guidance, support or complaints.

As the institution that is critical to ensuring domestic price stability and financial system soundness, CBS is cognisant that the COVID-19 situation is one that is unprecedented and challenging. Hence, it will continue to monitor the developments surrounding this situation and will revise and communicate any changes to its operations as and when the need arises.

The CBS is committed to keeping the general public updated and will also be creating necessary awareness about various aspects that are being impacted. This will be done through various mediums including television, radio and newspapers, as well as on social media and through its website.

 

Contributed by the CBS

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