Bank of Namibia

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.  What is the difference between the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and commercial banks?

    BoN is the only institution entitled by law to be a central bank, that amongst others, issues the Namibia Dollar notes and coins and supervises, licenses and regulates commercial banks. Commercial banks are independent institutions in the banking system that provide banking services to the public and operate under the supervision of BoN.

  • 2.  Can I open an account with Bank of Namibia?

    Members of the public cannot hold an account with BoN because BoN does not provide banking services to the public. It only provides banking services to commercial banks and the Government.

  • 3.  Can I get a loan from the Bank of Namibia?

    No, BoN does not give loans to the public because it does not directly provide banking services to the public.

  • 4.  Can I approach the Bank of Namibia to change my Namibia Dollars into foreign currencies?

    No, one will have to approach his/her commercial bank or bureau de change and request for the foreign currency.

  • 5.  What is the difference between Bank of Namibia, NAMFISA and Development Bank of Namibia?

    According to the Constitution, BoN serves as the State's principal instrument to control the money supply, and the currency, supervise the banking institutions and any other financial institutions that may be placed under its supervision by an Act of Parliament, and to perform all other functions ordinarily performed by a central bank. The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) exists to supervise non-bank financial institutions and financial services, such as short and long term insurance companies, micro lenders, pension funds, medical aid funds, etc. and to advise the Minister of Finance on matters relating to financial institutions and financial services in terms of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority Act, 2001 (Act No. 3 of 2001). The Development Bank of Namibia on the other hand, also in terms of its own Act, mobilizes investment capital and provides finance for public and private sector start-ups, expansions, ventures, public-private partnerships and infrastructure that contributes to Namibia's development.

  • 6.  Can I be charged if I deliberately tear, write, burn or damage the currency?

    In terms of the Bank of Namibia Act 1997 (Act No.15 of 1997) as amended, the burning of national currency is an offence and thus illegal. BoN is the only institution mandated by the Act, to arrange for the destruction of retired notes and coins. According to Section 24 (1) of the Bank of Namibia Act 1997, (Act No. 15 of 1997) a person who, without the permission of BoN, willfully - cuts, tears, holes, or in any other way whatsoever damages any note issued by BoN; writes, prints, stamps, or draws anything upon any such note; attaches or affixes any seal or stamp to or upon any such note, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N$8 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

  • 7.  Can I go and change my damaged money at the Bank of Namibia?

    You can bring the note to BoN for inspection. After the inspection, the BoN team will be let you know what amount (if any) you may receive in exchange for the damaged note. The Teller section of BoN operates from 09h00 - 14h00, Monday to Friday at BoN head office in Windhoek and at the BoN branch in Oshakati.

  • 9.  Will the Bank of Namibia help me if I have a complaint with my commercial bank?

    Clients first need to approach their commercial banks and when clients are unable to amicably resolve a particular case with their bank, clients may then consult BoN, as it is currently mandated to mediate between consumers and their banks. This is done in the spirit of finding a solution between aggrieved consumers and their respective bank. You may lodge a complaint via BoN’s website: www.bon.com.na

  • 10.  What is the Bank of Namibia’s position on peer-to-peer lending with interest?

    BoN’s position is guided by the Banking Institutions Act, 1998 (Act No. 2 of 1998) as amended. Peer-to-peer lending businesses that involve accepting deposits for or on behalf of more than 20 persons or an aggregate amount of more than N$ 500,000, excluding interest payable on the deposits could be regarded as banking business. In terms of section 5 of the Act, no person is allowed to conduct banking business, take or receive deposits from the public unless such person is authorised to conduct banking business. BoN is duty-bound to protect depositors and as a result cannot allow unsupervised or unregulated banking activities. Any person who engages in banking business or deposit taking activities without authorisation from BoN, commits an offence and if convicted, is liable to penalties as stipulated in the Act.

  • 11.  Why is Bank of Namibia concerned when I invest my own money in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin? After all it is my own money.

    Because of the unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies, BoN does not recognise, support and recommend the possession, utilisation and trading of cryptocurrencies in Namibia and by members of the public. Hence, BoN urges the public to invest their money responsibly and desist from any engagements or activities related to unregulated currencies such as Bitcoin and others.

  • 12.  Why does the Bank of Namibia state that pyramid schemes such as MLC 24/7 are illegal?

    The problem with pyramid schemes is that the scheme cannot go on forever. People are deceived into believing that by giving money, they will make more money; however, no wealth has been created, no product has been sold, no investment has been made, and no service has been provided. The concern lies in the fact that it is impossible for the scheme to sustain itself, so people will eventually lose their money somewhere down the line. Those who are most vulnerable are those that join the scheme at the late stage and lie at the bottom of the pyramid, where it becomes impossible to recruit the number of people required to pay off the previous layer of recruiters. People lose their hard earned money in a deceitful manner and this is the reason why pyramid schemes are illegal in Namibia and most countries throughout the world.

  • 13.  Why am I not allowed to use the Namibia Dollar in South Africa but I can use the South African Rand in Namibia?

    There is an agreement between South Africa, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Namibia and Lesotho, known as the Common Monetary Area agreement. Under this agreement, the South African Rand is a legal tender in all these countries although these countries are also entitled to issue their own national currency. However, these currencies only serve as legal tender in their own countries. The currencies of these countries (Namibia, Lesotho and eSwatini) are pegged to the South African Rand at one-to-one rate, and are freely convertible into Rand but are not legal tender in South Africa.

  • 14.  What is the exchange rate between Namibia Dollar and South African Rand?

    The exchange rate between the Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand is fixed at one-to-one, meaning you can exchange N$1.00 for R1.00.

  • 15.  Why does the Bank of Namibia not allow us to pay off our mortgage loans in five years just like with vehicle loans?

    Firstly, is it important to note that loan payback periods are broadly linked to the lifespan of the assets we are borrowing for. Since houses and apartments are expensive but durable, banks usually allow you 20 years to repay your home loan. If it was shorter, the instalments would have been too high for many families to afford. However, one is not restricted to paying off his/her house loan in 20 years. You are actually allowed to pay your mortgage loan off in a shorter period. For example, if you get a big salary increase or inherit some money, you can increase your monthly repayments or pay an additional amount once-off into your bond account. Paying a mortgage loan off more quickly will save you a lot on interest charges. Just notify your bank of your intention. Especially if you want to pay off your whole outstanding loan amount at once, you may be required to give prior notice to avoid penalty charges (since banks also have to plan for inflows and outflows of funds). However, if you are not able to pay it off more quickly, you are given 20 years to pay off the mortgage loan because such loans are attached to the lifespan of the property/house.

Today’s rates
Inflation rates
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NCPI

CONSUMER PRICES Total (All urban areas) 12-Term % change

NCPI 4,80 Sep 2018
Interest rates
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Repo rate

Repurchase rate: Rate at which the private (sector) banks borrow namibian dollars from the Bank of Namibia

Prime overdraft rate (predominant rate)

Benchmark rate at which private banks lend out to the public.

Repo 6.75
Prime 10.50
Exchange rates
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NAD per US Dollar

Weighted average of the banks' daily rates at approximately 10:30 am. Weights are based on the banks' foreign exchange transactions.

NAD per British Pound

Weighted average of the banks' daily rates at approximately 10:30 am. Weights are based on the banks' foreign exchange transactions.

NAD per Euro

Weighted average of the banks' daily rates at approximately 10:30 am. Weights are based on the banks' foreign exchange transactions.

NAD per Angolan Kwanza

Weighted average of the banks' daily rates at approximately 10:30 am. Weights are based on the banks' foreign exchange transactions.

N$ / $ 14,3396 23 Oct 2018
N$ / £ 18,5932 23 Oct 2018
N$ / € 16,4348 23 Oct 2018
N$ / AOA 0,0717 23 Oct 2018

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