The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV, for its acronym in Spanish) is apparently working together with the banking sector to draft a plan to formalize dollar transactions in the country as of mid-2021. The BCV would in theory act as a clearing and settlement house for dollars to enable the new system to operate. More details on this initiative are expected in the coming weeks.
Through this mechanism citizens would be able to immediately carry out transactions in dollars in the banking system. Banks would also be allowed to offer loans in dollars, which would help reactivate the local credit market. The national currency (the sovereign bolivar) would coexist with this new system, despite its sharp decline in value against the dollar in recent years. This issue together with the hyperinflation means a large number of informal commercial transactions are made in dollars.
This new BCV plan would be in line with the Electronic Clearing House (CCE, for its acronym in Spanish), another mechanism the Central Bank is apparently developing. A bank credit and debit scheme would operate through the CCE under the ISO 20022 standard on information transferred electronically between financial institutions. Furthermore, the system’s credit and debit operations would oscillate between bolivars and foreign currencies. However, transactions cleared between the CCE’s participating banks would be in a specific currency.