All scheduled banks have been asked to facilitate the processing of repatriating money by foreigners living in Bangladesh from their foreign currency account balances.
The Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday issued a circular, instructing the banks to smoothen the fund repatriation process complying with the foreign exchange guidelines.
The instruction came after the central bank received complaints that foreigners are being harassed by the banks in repatriating their foreign currency account balances when they leave the country.
Foreign workers working in the country, multinational companies, non-resident Bangladeshis can hold foreign currency accounts, said Mohammad Khurshid Wahab, general manager at the Bangladesh Bank.
They need to repatriate their balances when leave the country but the banks are delaying the process, causing harassment for them, he also said.
The banks send repatriation proposals of foreigners to the central bank for approval, which is not required, Mohammad Khurshid Wahab said.
In this circumstance, the central bank asked the banks to follow the repatriation guidelines and not to delay the process, he added.
According to a survey conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) recently found that some 2,50,000 foreigners are working in Bangladesh legally and illegally.
According to the home ministry, there are 90,000 legal foreign workers in Bangladesh.
The average monthly salary of foreigners is $1,500. As a result, the annual income of foreign workers is $4.5 billion. After local expenditure, about $3.15 billion goes abroad, the report said.
Foreign nationals, who are working in Bangladesh illegally, are laundering Tk26,400 crore annually, according to TIB.
Meanwhile, according to the Bangladesh Bank, $3.15 billion goes to abroad, of which, $46 million goes legally. The remaining $3.1 billion goes illegally – the amount is about Tk26,400 crore. And the annual revenue loss stands at Tk12,000 crore, it said.