The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has sought an explanation from 13 banks for selling US dollars at high prices.
The summoned banks belong to the private sector, including a Shariah-based Islami Bank.
The central bank confirmed the information on Monday (September 04, 2023). The letter was sent to different banks on Sunday (September 3) and the banks have been asked to provide an explanation in this regard within the next five working days.
The bank’s Executive Director and Spokesperson Md. Mesbaul Hoque told UNB that the trading licences of seven money changers have been suspended for selling dollars at higher prices.
An explanation has been sought from 10 more money changers following similar complaints. In addition, banks are also being monitored. Punitive action will be taken if concrete evidence is found, he said.
In August, the maximum import price of Tk109.5 was set, but some banks sold dollars up to Tk117, and bought it at Tk116.
Dollar transactions are inspected by Bangladesh Bank's Financial Integrity and Customer Service and Foreign Exchange Inspection Departments. Recently, the central bank sent for inspection due to the increase in the price of the dollar. After collecting the information, the issues of dollar sales are being verified.
In 2021, the central bank ordered to spend Tk 500 crore on the CSR sector from the profits of 12 banks due to excess profit. There were two foreign-owned banks and 10 private sector banks on that list.
The dollar crisis in the country has become evident since March last year after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. To deal with this crisis, the central bank fixed the dollar price at the beginning, but the crisis continued.