Dollar rate for LC settlement hit a record high of Tk109 on Wednesday amid the ongoing crisis for the greenback and depleting foreign exchange reserves.
Talking to The Business Standard, several banks' treasury department officials said they charged importers up to Tk109 for a dollar on the day, which was the highest so far.
"Now we have to buy dollars at higher prices from exchange houses abroad, which is why we have to charge importers higher," a third-generation bank senior official, who wished to remain unnamed, said.
"Even managing dollars is now a tough task," he told TBS.
Pointing out that the dollar price has been on the rise because all the banks go to the exchange houses abroad to collect dollars, he added that earlier they bought dollars from each other.
"As the crisis of dollars has increased in the country, the traditional way of managing dollars has closed for now. Therefore, buying dollars from exchange houses has become the only way. With the sharp rise in demand, exchange houses are also increasing the price."
He further added that exporters are also demanding a higher rate of dollar in encashing their export payments.
Another treasury department official from a government bank said they now can make all the import payments timely, although some payments have delayed earlier. "In the case of food products or government purchases, we are charging the rate set by Bangladesh Bank," he added.
Meanwhile, the central bank sold $40 million at the interbank rate of Tk94.70 to banks on Wednesday for making the import payments for food, fuel and essential commodities.
With the latest sale, the Bangladesh Bank supplied $1.2 billion since FY23 started on 1 July. As of Tuesday, its foreign exchange reserves fell to $39.54.
In addition, the central bank has continued its raids to ensure a fair price of the greenback in the kerb market. On Wednesday, several teams inspected the money exchangers.
"So far, we have inspected 104 money exchange houses. Of them, 5 have been sealed off and 42 have been served show-cause notices. Apart from this, 9 money exchangers have also been asked to shut down their operations," Md Sirajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of the central bank, told The Business Standard.
In the kerb market, the greenback price has been fluctuating between Tk107-108 for the past few days. On Wednesday, money exchangers bought the dollar at Tk107 and sold it at Tk108, which was Tk106 and Tk107 respectively on Tuesday.
On 26 July, the dollar price in the kerb market reached a record high of Tk112.