BB asks banks to appoint overseas remittance agents

Dhaka,  Sat,  03 December 2016
Published : 28 Nov 2016, 00:02:20

BB asks banks to appoint overseas remittance agents

Siddique Islam


The central bank advised the banks which have exchange houses abroad to appoint agents in the respective countries to help revamp receding inflow of remittances.

Under the latest move, the banks are now allowed to post agents in the job-destination countries through their exchange houses, according to officials.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) conveyed the advice in separate letters to all scheduled banks Sunday, they said.

"We'll consider giving priority to appointment of overseas agents for the sake of increasing the flow of inward remittances," a senior official of the BB told the FE.

Exchange houses of only two banks out of 15 have already appointed their agents in the United Kingdom, according to the central banker.

Currently, 29 exchange houses of 15 commercial banks are now operating across the globe to expedite the inflow of foreign currencies from the wage earners.

Besides, all banks have already set up 1160 drawing arrangements abroad for collection of remittances from different parts of the world.

Managing directors (MDs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) of the banks have been asked to build mass awareness both at home and abroad through organising remittance fairs for sending expatriates' hard-earned money through legal channels instead of the illegal hundi system.

The banks have also been advised to provide easy banking services to both remitters and beneficiaries using modern technologies.

The BB is now scrutinising the proposal of banks on relaxation of security deposit for drawing arrangement, the central bank added.

"The central bank may relax such security deposit to facility inflow of remittances," he hinted.

At a meeting on November 14 the bankers urged the BB to bring down the amount of security deposit for drawing arrangement to US$ 10,000 from the existing level of $25,000.

At the same meeting, the central bank asked the banks to take effective measures to revamp the flow of inward remittances from next month.

The central bank took the latest move as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had expressed her concern over downward projection of the inflow of remittances by the World Bank for the current calendar year.

The multilateral development-financing agency has projected that the flow of inward remittance will come down to US$14.9 billion by the end of 2016 from $15.39 billion a year ago, according to the BB officials.

On the other hand, the inflow of remittances dropped over 15 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2016-17, against the same period of the last fiscal.

The remittance receipts came down to US$4.25 billion during the July-October period of the FY 17 from $5.03 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

It was estimated at $1.01 billion in October 2016, down by $44.66 million from the level of the previous month. In September, the remittances stood at $1.05 billion. It was nearly $1.10 billion in October 2015.

siddique.islam@gmail.com
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