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Thursday, August 10, 2006

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HEADLINE
 
NBFIs' financial transactions to come under central bank scrutiny
Siddique Islam
8/10/2006
 

          Financial transactions of the non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) will come under scrutiny by the central bank in line with the Anti-Money Laundering Act to check suspicious transactions for combating terror financing.
Although the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act allows the scope to examine the financial deals of the NBFIs, they remain for all practical purposes, outside the ambit of scrutiny.
The disclosure came at a meeting with the heads of Central Compliance Unit (CCU) of the commercial banks for implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, held at the conference room of the central bank Wednesday.
Executive Director of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Nazmul Hassan presided over the day-long meeting while high officials of the central bank also attended it.
During the meeting, the bankers raised the questions about scrutiny of financial transactions of the NBFIs and multi-purpose cooperative societies as per the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act to check illegal fund transfers.
Replying to the queries, the BB officials told the meeting that the central bank would bring the financial transactions of the NBFIs under its scrutiny in line with the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act immediately.
"We will scrutinise the financial transactions of the NBFIs under the provisions of the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act," a senior BB official told the FE Wednesday after the meeting.
He also said the Anti-Money Laundering Department of the central bank will take necessary measures to scrutinise the financial deals of the NBFIs.
At the same meeting, the bankers proposed to re-fix the amount at Tk 1.0 million, in place of the existing Tk 0.50 million, for cash transaction report (CTR) to facilitate the operations of middle class clients with their banks.
The central bank, however, rejected the proposal and saying that the amount was fixed in line with the recommendations of a committee that was formed earlier comprising senior officials of both state-owned and private commercial banks to find out the mode of cash transactions of the banks.
Besides, the bankers alleged that they were facing problems in complying with the 'Know Your Customers (KYC)' reporting system mainly due to complexity of the forms, which were prepared by different banks in line with the guidelines of the central bank.
They also urged the BB for taking measures to simplify the KYC forms.
However, the BB agreed to review the KYC-related provisions aiming to simplify its forms.
"We will review the matter to facilitate the bankers for comply with the existing KYC reporting system," another BB senior official told the FE.
He also said the central bank wants user-friendly KYC forms that will help the bankers to comply properly with its provisions.
The central bank officials asked the bankers for taking measures to submit reports on CTR and suspicious transactions reports (STRs) to its concerned department in time, the meeting sources said.
Under the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act, the banks have to inform the concerned department of the central bank instantly if they detect any suspicious transaction.

 

 
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