Int’l trade to be more dynamic Foreign transactions can be cleared in a day from May

Bangladesh Bank is set to upgrade the Bangladesh Automated Clearing House (BACH) in a bid to help businesspeople settle their local export- and import-related transactions in a day instead of existing 7-10 days.

The upgraded version, which will be called BACH II, is scheduled to go live on May 3.

Senior bankers welcomed the move, saying BACH II will make international trade more dynamic.

There are many instances of the bank-customer relationship deteriorating because the banks could not disburse the exporters’ fund promptly due to the existing manual system, said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director of Dhaka Bank.

“Such problems will be solved when the central bank will introduce the BACH II,” said Rahman, also the chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh.

Transparency will be ensured in the banking sector when the BACH II becomes operational, said Md Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia.

“The economy will get a momentum,” he said.

The inter-bank online banking system will also get a boost as transaction will be settled on the day.

MA Halim Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank, echoed the same.

Transactions in five foreign countries’ currencies — the US dollar, pound sterling, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar and euro — will be settled by using the new features of the BACH II.

Introduced in November 2010, BACH was the first ever electronic clearing house of Bangladesh. It has two components — the Automated Cheque Processing System and the Electronic Funds Transfer.

Both the systems operate in batch processing mode, meaning transactions received from banks during the day are processed at a pre-fixed time and settled through a single multilateral netting figure on each individual bank’s respective books maintained with the BB.  Under BACH II, clients will also be able to settle their inter-bank online transactions in a day.

The BACH allows clients to settle their inter-bank or cross cheques in local currency within 24 hours.

For foreign cheques, it takes 7-10 days. But the BACH II will clear it in just a day.