Central Bank Reduces Minimum Legal Banking Reserve
1 abril 2020

On April 1, the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV, for its acronym in Spanish) published a resolution reducing the minimum legal banking reserve to be kept on deposit by public and private entities in the BCV. The new requirement is 93% for deposits in local currency and 31% for those in foreign currency. Microfinance banks will have a reduced reserve requirement of 20%. A circular was also published containing the formula for determining the discount on reserve requirements. Both measures are already in force.

The new system unifies the previous dual reserve regime, which established a marginal banking reserve of 100% and an ordinary banking reserve of 57%. In addition, the regulations define microfinance banks as those entities whose main objective is to promote microfinance activities and whose intermediation rate is at least 70%. These institutions must maintain a minimum reserve of 20%. 

Finally, the measure reintroduces the penalty adjusted to the variation of the U.S. dollar exchange rate in cases of noncompliance with the legal banking reserve. This penalty had been lifted on March 27, 2020.