BB teams inspect money changers

Yesterday, ten Bangladesh Bank inspection teams visited money changers around the city of Dhaka to determine if they were intentionally hoarding US dollars to raise their rate against the taka on the open market.

BB spokesman Md Serajul Islam confirmed the issue to the Daily Star, saying the banking regulator had started strict monitoring to see if shops were following central bank rules and regulations.

Money changers must avail themselves of a license from the central bank to operate their business.

The exchange rate of the dollar against the taka registered a record of 112 Tk on Tuesday while it was 107 Tk on Monday.

The rate, however, declined yesterday to 107 Tk in the open market.

A Bangladesh Bank official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a vested quarter may have hoarded dollars to artificially boost the exchange rate.

Some money changers could be involved, prompting the BB to decide to carry out sudden inspections, the official said.

The hoarding of the dollar could have caused the exchange rate to rise significantly in the free market.

The central bank is currently reviewing financial information provided by money changers.

If a money changer is found to have been involved in malpractice, the BB will consider revoking its license, he said.

According to central bank rules, a traveler is allowed to purchase a maximum of Tk$1,000 from a currency exchange office if traveling out of the country by air.

The amount of dollars purchased by a traveler is $500 if traveling to a foreign country by land.

Travelers can, however, purchase their entire annual greenback cap up to $12,000 from banks.

A currency exchange is allowed to hold a maximum of $25,000 at the end of each business day.

Cash over this limit will need to be deposited in the foreign currency account of their respective bank.

The balance of this account must not exceed $50,000 at any time.