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Banks Allowed To Do Foreign Currency Business With Public

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has laid the foundation to eliminate exchange companies from the currency business by allowing banks and their entire branches to buy and sell foreign currencies with the public across the country.

The SBP issued revised chapters of Foreign Exchange (FE) Manual providing details about the currency business while assigning the role of exchange companies to banks.

Earlier, the banks were not allowed to sell or buy foreign currencies directly from public except for those having their own exchange companies.

The SBP did not say anything regarding the existence or future role of exchange companies but feel threatened with the latest development.

Under the headline of purchase of foreign currency notes from the public, the SBP said that all incoming persons — whether Pakistani or foreign national — can bring with them without any limit foreign currencies and other instruments against the submission of a declaration to the customs authorities on amount exceeding $10,000 or equivalent.

Banks were also told to ensure availability of foreign currencies to sell it to the public.

It is the responsibility of authorised dealers to ensure adequate foreign currency is available with their authorised branches at all times for meeting the requirements of their customers, read the manual.

Under the headline of ‘Sale of foreign currency notes to the public’, the SBP said the dealers may sell foreign currency notes to persons proceeding abroad within the amount of foreign exchange allowed through special permission by the SBP or under the authority delegated to them.