General provision for banks with huge branches having no online facilities relaxed
Tareq Al Naser
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has given some directives on submission of reports on cash transaction (CTR) amounting to Tk 0.50 million and above and asked banks operating fewer branches with online banking facilities to submit CTR reports from January next.
But the deadline for submission of CTR by large banks operating a good number of branches without online banking facilities has been extended by three more months.
The BB issued a circular in this regard Thursday and directed the banks to follow the order. The central banks took the steps in line with the bankers' recommendations as the banks earlier requested the BB to review the timetable for submission of the CTR, especially the large banks like Nationalised Commercial Banks (NCBs).
"The large banks that operate a good number of branches across the country but do not have online banking facilities have been given three more months to develop online banking system. We have asked those banks to develop online banking system within this period to submit CTR report," a BB sources said.
In its circular, the BB asked banks to send reports only on the withdrawal by the government establishments. Earlier, banks had to send reports on both the deposit and withdrawal by any government establishment.
According to the new circular, cash transaction amounting to Tk 0.50 million was earlier considered a suspicious transaction but now transaction of such an amount will be considered as normal.
Last December 21, the BB gave the instructions and asked the banks to follow the directives for crosschecking the mode of fund transfers across the country. The commercial banks were asked to comply with the existing rules and regulations for detecting suspicious transactions and combating terror financing.
The instructions came at a meeting December 21 last with the head of central compliance unit (CCU) for implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of the commercial banks. The meeting was held at the conference room of the central bank.
But the bankers felt that such instruction will increase the work-load of banks to prepare reports on such cash transactions.
Deputy Governor of the BB Muhammad A (Rumee) Ali presided over the meeting.
Executive Director of the central bank Nazmul Hassan also attended.
During the meeting, the bankers proposed to raise the amount to Tk 1.0 million from Tk 0.50 million for CTRs. This will give relief to middle class clients of the banks.
The central bank, however, rejected the proposal saying that the amount had been fixed in line with the recommendations of a committee. The committee was formed earlier comprising senior officials of both state-owned and private commercial banks to find out the cash transactions mode of the banks.
The committee recommended for fixing the CTR amount on the basis of its study, which was conducted during April-June period this year, sources concerned said.
The meeting also took a six-point decision for complying with the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act to check illegal fund transfers through banking channel.
The central bank officials asked the bankers for taking measures to submit reports on CTR and suspicious transactions report (STR) to its concerned department in time.
The bankers have given commitment to inform the central bank about the STRs and submit the reports on CTR in line with BB's directives.