Bangladesh Bank officials will sit with the top executives of 20 banks today to find out how to reduce the cost of sending remittance through the banking channel.
The meeting will be held at the headquarters of the banking regulator in Dhaka, as part of an effort to arrest the fall in remittance and encourage the expatriates to send more money.
Migrant workers sent home $12.77 billion in the last fiscal year, down 14.47 percent year-on-year, according to data from the central bank.
The cost of sending remittance is high mainly due to the commission taken by the exchange houses aboard, said Ahmed Jamal, executive director of Bangladesh Bank.
He spoke at a workshop for journalists jointly organised by the BB and Economic Reporters Forum, at the central bank headquarters yesterday.The central bank is concerned about the declining remittance, as the strong growth of remittance had helped Bangladesh cushion the shocks of the global economic meltdown earlier, he said. Tightening of anti-money laundering regulations globally amid rising militant activities hindered the remittance inflow, said Habibur Rahman, general manager of the BB.
Rahman, who was a member of the research team that the BB had formed to find out the causes of falling remittance, said cost is not the major reason behind the sliding remittance.
The workers are being harassed while sending money through the banking channel due to the tightening of the anti-money laundering regulations in the countries where Bangladesh has a big labour market, he said.
The cuts in wages amid economic crisis in Middle Eastern countries are also responsible for the fall in remittance, he said.
Remittance inflows from Saudi Arabia slumped 23 percent and from the UAE 22.79 percent in last fiscal year compared to the previous year, according to BB data.