The Bangladesh Bank has not received any instructions regarding not settling transactions through the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), Bangladesh Bank Spokesperson Md Mezbaul Haque said today (26 September).
Various reports in the Indian media said the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had instructed banks there not to settle transactions related to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).
This raised worries as Bangladesh, alongside other member countries India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, use the ACU to settle deferred import payments.
These fears, however, were still unfounded, according to the central bank.
"There is a secretariat board in the ACU. If there was any such instruction we would have received the letter," Haque told The Business Standard.
"Even today, the banks of our country made transactions with India and other related countries," he added.
When asked how the country's transactions will be if the ACU system is closed, the spokesperson said, "We will carry on the way we normally import and export with other countries and the payment method will be the same. But then immediate payment has to be made. Now, we are able to pay the countries after two months."
According to an executive director of the central bank, reports on the ACU had prompted them to send an email to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The RBI also informed that they had not received any such instructions.
The central bank spokesperson, however, did not confirm Bangladesh Bank's email correspondence with India's central bank.
The ACU is a trade-related payment mechanism established in 1974 to enable regional cooperation and promote trade among its members.
Its member-countries are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The ACU was formed on 9 December, 1974 under the initiative of the United Nations subsidiary ESCAP to promote regional cooperation. Its head office is in Tehran, the capital of Iran.