EBL to buy exchange house in Dubai to attract remittance
Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) has decided to purchase an exchange house in Dubai to attract more remittances sent by Bangladeshi migrants working in the emirate.
The board of the EBL agreed in principle in this regard, according to a filing posted by the private bank on the Dhaka Stock Exchange website on June 26.
"We want to open a money exchange house subject to the approval by the Bangladesh Bank and central bank of the UAE. If we can do so, we will be able to bring in more remittances to the country," said Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director and chief executive officer of EBL.
The bank made the decision at a time when Bangladesh faces a shortage of foreign exchange reserves as total inflows from exports and remittances fall short of the requirement to clear external payments mainly import bills.
Between July 1 and June 25 of fiscal year 2022-23, remittance inflow grew 4.6 per cent to $21.43 billion from last fiscal year's total of $21.03 billion, according Bangladesh Bank data.
Iftekhar said EBL is in discussion with a couple of exchange houses in the UAE, the third biggest source of remittances for Bangladesh, though it has not been finalised yet.
"If we get the approval and see prospects, we may consider offering services from other countries in the region," he said.
"We want to start within the third quarter of this calendar year," said Iftekhar.
Once launched, this would be EBL's first exchange house abroad.