In brief

The Central Bank of Venezuela ("Central Bank") issued a notice on 18 November ("Notice")1 establishing the guidelines that universal and microfinancing banks subject to the Banking Institutions Law2 ("Universal and Microfinancing Banks") must follow pursuant to Article 1 of Resolution No. 19-09-03 of 21 October 2019 ("Resolution"),3 in relation to foreign currency sale transactions that the Central Bank may carry out automatically with the Universal and Microfinancing Banks.

In more detail

The Notice established the prohibition to sell cash positions in foreign currency acquired through (i) the exchange desks; and (ii) those authorized to be un-accumulated in the exchange desks coming from retail exchange transactions, at an exchange rate higher than the exchange rate established for the latest exchange intervention by the Central Bank in the respective week.

The prohibition applies to foreign exchange operators that maintain unsold balances to the public or in interbank operations within the framework of the foreign currency sale operations that the Central Bank may carry out automatically with the Universal and Microfinancing Banks, pursuant to Article 1 of the Resolution.

Universal and Microfinancing Banks authorized as foreign exchange operators must:

  1. Adapt, facilitate and optimize the procedures related to these foreign exchange operations within a term no longer than 30 banking business days as of the issuance of the Notice (i.e., until 5 January 2022).
  2. Inform clients and users about the procedures and necessary requirements, and about the offices available for foreign currency purchases through exchange intervention.

Universal and Microfinancing Banks that fail to comply with the provisions set forth in the Notice will be sanctioned with up to 1% of their paid-in capital and reserves and any other measures that the Central Bank considers, in accordance with Articles 57 and 135 of the Central Bank Law.4