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On May 22nd, the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) reported that trade-based money laundering has decreased significantly in recent months as banks and central banks intensified monitoring.
After an increased effort by banks and the central bank to monitor over- and under-invoicing prices of imported products in recent months, a report released on May 22nd, by the Association of Bankers of Bangladesh (ABB) indicated that the amount of trade-based money laundering had been dramatically reduced.
It has been reported that even a few years ago, top banking executives were unaware of the possibility of trade-based money laundering. There is close monitoring of import and export prices by the central bank and banks of Bangladesh to prevent illegal currency flows out of the country. ABB observed this during a press conference at BRAC Bank’s headquarters in the capital on “Bangladesh’s Banking Sector Outlook 2023.”
A slow recovery occurs in the banking sector after experiencing severe stress during the second half of 2022. The result has been that banks have again begun to open letters of credit (LC) in good numbers after several months of sluggish activity. As part of the program, ABB’s vice-chairmen, Mashrur Arefin, Selim R. F. Hussain, Syed Waseque Md Ali, and Abul Kashem Md Shirin, were present.
Based on the Bangladesh Bank’s assessment, the ABB believes that the measures it has taken to improve the economy and the banking sector, which have been under pressure since a year ago due to the pressure on foreign currency reserves, have reached their peak. According to ABB’s vice-chairman Mashrur Arefin, the total amount of imports in recent months has declined from around $7 billion to $4.5 billion per month, indicating that the market has begun to stabilise.