BB beefs up watch on banks' forex operations

A new chapter has opened for the supervision of international transactions as the central bank yesterday launched a full-fledged automated system to monitor the country's entire foreign exchange operations.
Bangladesh Bank has built an integrated database, linking all scheduled banks, to receive updated data online on all transactions related to exports, imports and remittances.
The system will help the banking regulator get updated on all letters of credit, back-to-back LCs, inland bill purchases, export receipts, and inward and outward remittances.
“We want to promote paperless banking across the country. The initiative will help us reach the goal,” BB Governor Atiur Rahman said at the launching ceremony at the central bank headquarters in the capital.
He said the digitised system will strengthen on-site and off-site supervision as it has an "electronic dashboard" to analyse data instantly.
The dashboard is a graphical presentation of foreign exchange data and it has four reporting modules such as export, import, inward remittance and outward remittance, said Nazneen Sultana, a deputy governor of the BB.
“We will now get updated on the branch-wise data,” she said.
The governor said the software developed by their own IT officials will also strengthen the monitoring and supervision system of all scheduled banks who will get access to the dashboard without paying any fee.
“It is a CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative and we have provided passwords to each chief executive of banks.”
So, the chief executives of the banks will now be able to monitor the foreign exchange transactions of all their branches from their head offices, he said.
The system will eliminate manual compilation of periodical transaction data supplied by the commercial banks, said Md Ahsan Ullah, an executive director of the BB. The association of the chief executives of commercial banks hailed the regulator for launching the system.
BB had been lagging behind the commercial banks in various aspects of automation around five-seven years back, said Mohammed Nurul Amin, chairman of the association. “But now the central bank is a pioneer and trend-setter in many cases of digitisation,” said Amin, also the managing director of NCC Bank.
He also urged the central bank to arrange special trainings for the bank officials to help them run the system smoothly. The BB introduced the online export monitoring system in November 2011, while the other three modules for import, inward and outward remittances started functioning from the beginning of this year on a trial basis.

News Source:
The Daily star Bangladesh
Dated:- 13-Feb-2013

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