Foreign exchange rates stable after BB tightens spending
Bangladesh Bank’s move to curb foreign currency spending has resulted in stability in the market after a jump in hiking exchange rates over the last four months. Through several regulatory measures against some banks and money exchange houses, the volatile forex market is seemingly stable now. Banks’ and kerb market’s exchange rate of US dollar stood at Tk 95 and Tk 98-100 respectively. After joining as Bangladesh Bank Governor on July 12, 2022, Abdur Rouf Talukder has taken measures to bring banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) under strict monitoring. He formed several teams led by deputy governors for inspection and monitoring of bank and NBFI activities, reports UNB. Despite the central bank guidelines and instructions, several banks have been defying the rules of foreign trade, including LC opening, dollar trading, and spending of forex through credit cards. Against this backdrop, Bangladesh Bank asked 27 banks to explain unusual spending of forex. The central bank found such excessive spending under 71 credit cards issued by the 27 banks. These cards have been transacted from USD $12,500 to $20,000.
Central bank starts instant transactions of foreign currencies through RTGS
Bangladesh Bank has started instant foreign currency transactions, from bank to bank, through online-based real-time gross settlement (RTGS). Banks are primarily clearing and settling in US dollars, pounds, euros, Canadian dollars, and Japanese yen. Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder officially inaugurated the RTGS programme at the headquarters of the central bank in Motijheel on Sunday. Deputy governors Ahmed Jamal and Kazi Sayedur Rahman, President of FBCCI Md. Jasim Uddin, MCCI President Saiful Islam, Chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Selim RF Hossain, and senior officials of the central bank, among others, were present at the event. Earlier, five currencies – US dollar, pound, euro, Canadian dollar, and Japanese yen – were settled in the traditional transaction system. As per the method, banks use paper documents, and the bank officials settle the transaction. It was time-consuming and costly, said Md Serajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank. From Sunday, banks will be able to settle transactions instantly without any hassle through the RTGS system, he said.
Banks asked to take effective steps for less energy use
The Bangladesh Bank on Monday asked all scheduled banks to take effective and exemplary measures in reducing power and energy consumption. The BB issued a circular in this regard on the day. Earlier on July 26, the central bank asked the banks to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent and power consumption by 25 per cent to tackle current energy and dollar crises. According the instruction, banks must continue its steps to save at least 20 per cent of allocated funds for petrol, diesel and gas, oil and lubricant. In this regard, the banks must prevent usage of office cars for personal works and unauthorised car usage.