CHECKING FINANCIAL CRIME AD branches of 8 state-run banks must use SWIFT network: BB

A file photo shows the headquarters of state-run Sonali Bank in Dhaka. Bangladesh Bank has asked the country’s eight state-run scheduled banks to ensure using SWIFT network while issuing back-to-back letters of credit in a bid to check fraudulent act and financial crime. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Bank has asked the country’s eight state-run scheduled banks to ensure using SWIFT network while issuing back-to-back letters of credit in a bid to check fraudulent act and financial crime, officials of the central bank have said.
The BB issued a letter to managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks on January 22, asking them to ensure the use of SWIFT network in their all authorised dealer branches for foreign exchange to avoid fraudulent act.
The eight state-run banks are Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, BASIC Bank and Bangladesh Development Bank.
The BB also asked the banks to use the SWIFT network when they gave acceptance against their local and foreign documentary bill, the letter said.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment, a BB official told New Age on Thursday.
The SWIFT also sells software and services to financial institutions, much of it for use on the SWIFT Network, he said.
Business Identifier Codes are popularly known as SWIFT codes, he said.
More than 10,800 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in over 200 countries use the SWIFT network in every day to exchange millions of standardised financial messages, the official said.
The country’s private and foreign commercial banks have already introduced the SWIFT network in their all AD branches, but the state-run banks are lag behind in using the technology, he said.
The parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry had earlier asked the finance ministry to ensure the use of SWIFT network in the country’s all AD branches to avoid financial scams, the official said.
As part of the directive, the finance ministry issued a letter to the BB on December 21 last year, asking the central bank to take initiative in this connection.
The parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry after conducting an investigation into the Hallmark Group-Sonali Bank loan scam recently placed a number of recommendations before the government to check such fraudulent act and loan scam in the banking sector.
The banking sector could have avoided the Hallmark Group-Sonali Bank scam as they would have ensured the use of SWIFT network in their AD branches.
It is frustrating situation for the state-run banks that they are yet to introduce the SWIFT network in their all AD branches resulting that they (state-run banks) have faced a number of financial scams in recent period, the BB official said.
The good governance at the state-run banks will develop more when they will be able to introduce the SWIFT network in their all AD branches to conduct their LC process, he said.0367

Source: New Age

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