The Bangladesh Bank (BB) reminded Monday the commercial banks to religiously follow its instructions on suspicious transactions reporting (STR) to check illegal fund transfers.
The directive came from a meeting of the central taskforce on anti-money laundering in the backdrop of banks' reluctance to follow the central bank's instructions on STR for fear of souring relations with their clients.
The meeting of the taskforce was held at the conference room of the central bank with the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Executive Director (ED) Nazmul Hasan in the chair.
"We are insisting the banks on submitting more STRs in compliance with the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act," a BB senior official told the FE Monday.
He also said the central bank has already taken measures to increase the number of such reporting to curb illegal transactions.
Sources, however, said the BB will sit soon with the officials of commercial banks, who are mainly assigned to ensure proper compliance with the provisions of the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Under the Act, the banks are required to inform Anti-Money Laundering Department of the central bank instantly if it detects any suspicious transaction.
The BB received only 12 STRs from 49 scheduled banks of the country in last two months, sources in the central bank said.
A total of 176 STRs have been submitted to the central bank since July 2002 and at least 80 STRs have already been investigated into by different agencies including the BB.
Bankers, however, alleged that they are facing problem in submitting the STRs to the central bank due to lack of parameter for identifying such transaction.
Most of the banks are unwilling to submit STRs because of such reports would affect relations with their clients, sources said, adding that the banks often refrain from sending the reports to avoid possible harassment, sources said.
Earlier, the central bank directed the banks to maintain 'the transaction profile method' while opening any account under 'know your customers (KYC)' system to stop suspicious transactions.