Ali Reza Iftekhar
On the face of impending global recession and gloom, we need to strike a balance by closely monitoring the current situation and supporting business flow and sustainability at the same time.
There have been rumours spreading all across social media platforms that our banking system is facing a severe liquidity crisis, creating an alarming situation, especially for depositors, as they are the major fund-providers of the banking system.
However, these rumours are baseless and without merit, and the depositors need not get panicked as their money is absolutely safe within the banking system.
What I believe is- these rumours are being deliberately spread by vested quarters with deceptive intentions. In fact, just the other day, the country's central bank published a statement to brush aside the rumours of any liquidity crisis in the banking system and informed all that there is ample liquidity - Tk1.70 trillion to be exact, in excess liquidity.
I appreciate the initiatives taken by Bangladesh Bank in recent months in managing the flow of imports and other steps such as allowing 50% of ERQ (Export Retention Quota) accounts, placing funds from OBU (Offshore Banking Unit) to DBU (Digital Banking Unit), slashing NOP (Net Open Position) limit from 20% of regulatory capital to 15%. These steps have certainly brought some desired liquidity in the foreign exchange market.
We are serving our customers by opening LCs (Letter of Credit) but under the current scenario, we are strictly monitoring the proceeds flow on a case to case basis. And I am optimistic the economy will turn around and transition from the current situation.
On the face of impending global recession and gloom, I believe we need to strike a balance by closely monitoring the current situation and supporting business flow and sustainability at the same time.
Bangladesh is passing through a rough patch due to the Russia-Ukraine war, supply chain disruption and a balance of payment deficit. Even then, economists are predicting the country's current economy might be under pressure, but not in crisis.
Bangladesh is known for its resilience during many adverse situations in the past, such as RMG's quota free regime, Rana Plaza tragedy, rise of extremism and terrorist attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic, to name a few.
Being the second largest apparel exporter, second largest producer of freshwater fin-fish and the third largest vegetable producer in the world and with the opening of the Padma Bridge and the country's largest economic zone at Mirershorai, Chattogram on the horizon, the situation will definitely change for better for Bangladesh.
We, the banking community, will be partners in the progress of 'made in Bangladesh' rebranding and the Fintech movement. Depositors and investors do not need to panic as their hard earned savings is safe within the banking system.
Ali Reza Iftekhar is the CEO and Managing Director of Eastern Bank Limited.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.