FAQ - National Bank


Does NBE provide loan?

NBE, as a central bank, does provide loan to the government and banks, not to individuals and business entities.

What is the current deposit interest rate?

NBE has set the minimum saving and time deposit rates at 5%. But banks may pay higher than this rate

What is the lending rate of Banks?

The lending rate is fully liberalized, and hence there is no lower/upper lending limit rate in the country. Each bank determines the lending rates.

Can any one participate in the auction of Treasury Bills?

Yes, with the minimum amount of birr 5000.

Can I get a foreign currency to pay for education, subscriptions, health, etc?

All eligible individuals can get foreign currency from commercial banks for these and other purposes.

How many banks, insurance companies & micro finance (MFIs) org. operate in Ethiopia?

There are 16 private and 3 government-owned banks, 17 private and 1 government owned insurance companies, and 35 Microfinance institutions (as of May,2012.)

What are the Ethiopian currency denominations?

Ethiopia has 1,5,10, 50 and 100 birr notes and a 1, 5 10,25,50 cents coins

Which commercial bank, insurance company or MFIs is trust worthy to deal with?

Only Ethiopians can own and operate financial institutions.

Who is eligible to engage in the business of banks, insurance and MFIs?

All are trust worthy and working as per the close inspection and guidance of NBE.

What are the majors foreign currencies that the country uses?

US Dollar, Pound Sterling and Euro are vastly used in Ethiopia. However, banks in Ethiopia transact in Japanese Yen, Rand, Rupee, Swedish Krona, etc.

Is the Birr vulnerable to counterfeit, as other currencies do?

All currencies are venerable to counterfeit. Hence you need to know your currency’s security features in order to combat counterfeit.

What should I do, if I find a counterfeit?

You should immediately report the case to the police.

Can I use credit card in Ethiopia? Which types of credit cards are used in the country?

Yes. But only few paces give credit cared services for customers. Since 2006, Domestic banks have also started to issue credit cards and one can use these credit cards. In Ethiopia, American Express, Master, Visa, Diners Club and Cart Blanche, and Euro cards are used.

Is it possible to transact in foreign currency?

Only certified hotels, duty free shops, immigration offices. Civil Aviation authority and airline ticket offices are entitled to accept payments in foreign currency.

Can I deposit a foreign currency in my account?

All Ethiopian nationals living and working abroad and non-resident foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin can open fixed (time deposit), current and non-reparable Birr account in commercial banks.

The National Bank of Ethiopia was established in 1963 by proclamation 206 of 1963 and began operation in January 1964.

P.O.Box: 5550
Tel: +251 115 517 430
E-mail: nbeinfo@nbe.gov.et
Fax: +251 115 514 588
Avenue: Sudan Street


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