BB allows savings schemes in local currency for Bangladeshi expatriates

  • Abdur Rahim Harmachi, Chief Economics Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-08-10 01:15:08 BdST

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Bangladesh Bank has allowed the banks to introduce deposit schemes in taka for non-resident Bangladeshis.

The move aims at encouraging the expatriates working abroad to save money and invest in Bangladesh, the central bank said in a notice on Sunday.

The existing regulations allow the expatriates to maintain foreign currency accounts and nonresident taka accounts in Bangladesh.

They are also allowed to make direct and portfolio investment in Bangladesh, including investment in saving instruments of the government in the form of time deposits.

From now on, the banks can introduce deposit products in taka for NRBs with accounts that may be opened for a period of one year and above.

The accounts may also be opened without initial installment for the persons travelling abroad for employment.

Non-authorised bank branches providing remittance delivery services can also maintain the accounts.

The deposits in the accounts shall be either monthly or quarterly.

The accounts shall be credited in taka after conversion of foreign currency.

Humayun Kabir, the executive director at the central bank, said the move will help the expatriates save money and spend on productive schemes.

“Studies suggest that most of the hard-earned money sent by the expatriates is spent on luxury. Their family members either buy land or build homes with the money,” he said.

“And there are cases when the person receiving the money embezzled the assets bought with it. These expatriates live miserable lives when they return home,” he added.

He also said mainly the expatriates, who remit large amounts, invest in the existing bonds for them while the new initiative with help the small remitters invest.

“It will also help the banks increase the flow of dollar,” he added.

Remittances sent by Bangladeshis working abroad have shattered all records recently even amid the coronavirus pandemic that pushed both exports and imports down.

In July, Bangladesh received $2.6 billion remittances, highest for a single month.