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Bangladesh Bank eyes reducing remittance fees

  • Published at 09:12 pm July 19th, 2017
Bangladesh Bank eyes reducing remittance fees
Bangladesh Bank (BB) is likely to determine a low transfer fee for remittance on July 24 with a view to encouraging non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to send more remittances through banking channel. The central bank high-ups organised a meeting with senior officials of top 20 remittance recipient banks to talk over the issue at its head office on Wednesday. BB Executive Director Ahmed Jamal presided over the meeting while senior officials from Agrani Bank, Bank Asia, Brac Bank, Janata Bank, National Bank, Mercantile Bank and Islami Bank, among others, attended the event. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, one of the government bank representatives said: “We met the central bank authorities to fix a reduced remittance transfer fee. But today’s meeting was a preliminary meeting, the final decision would be taken in the next meeting on July 24.” When contacted, Ahmed Jamal declined to make any comment over the matter. However, he said they sat with top 20 remittance receiver banks after remittance inflows into the country went down. Commissions taken by the exchange houses abroad increase the cost of remittance transfer, Ahmed Jamal said in a meeting with journalists on Tuesday.
Also read- Remittance inflow lowest in five years
“Bangladesh Bank is concerned about the declining trend of remittance flow. The central bank will advise the banks to cut the remittance transfer fee so that its flow goes up in coming months,” he told the meeting. BB Executive Director Shubhankar Saha, also the spokesperson of the central bank, said: “The government has planned to subsidise the remittance transfer cost. Moreover, we are discussing the issue with the remittance receiving banks to reduce the remittance fee.” While talking to journalists after inauguration of the newly constructed fountain in Naiyorpul area of Sylhet on July 8, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said they would bring down the cost of remittance transfer soon to increase its flow into the country. The tendency of settling abroad is rising, which is the key reason behind the less remittance inflow into Bangladesh. The government will reduce fees for remittance transfer from next month to develop the scenario, he said. The remittance inflow into Bangladesh dropped to $12.76 billion in the last fiscal year from $14.93 billion a year ago, marking a 14.48% decline year-on-year despite several moves taken by the government to boost the inflow. The remittance in the 2016-17 fiscal year is also the lowest in the last five years, according to the latest Bangladesh Bank data.