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Search date: 04-04-2018 Return to current date: Click here

BB cuts banks’ CRR effective from Apr 15

FE Report | April 04, 2018 00:00:00

The central bank of Bangladesh slashed on Tuesday the cash reserve requirement (CRR) by 1.0 percentage point to 5.50 per cent, enabling all the scheduled banks to use Tk 101 billion worth of additional fund, officials said.

Under the revised rules, the banks will have to maintain 5.50 per cent CRR with the Bangladesh Bank (BB) from their total demand and time liabilities on a bi-weekly basis.

The banks will be allowed to maintain the reserve at 5.00 per cent instead of the existing 6.00 per cent on a daily basis, but the bi-weekly average has to be 5.50 per cent at the end.

The new CRR will come into effect from April 15, according to a notification, issued by the BB on Tuesday.

The central bank also cut the interest rate on repurchase agreement (repo) by 75 basis points on the same day, they added.

According to the latest decision, the existing repo interest rate of the central bank will come down to 6.00 per cent from the existing level of 6.75 per cent while the reverse repo rate will remain unchanged at 4.75 per cent.

The revised interest rate on repo will come into effect from April 15, the notification added.

These decisions were taken at a tripartite meeting of the Ministry of Finance, the BB and the Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) in the capital on Sunday to help mitigate the present liquidity shortage in the banking system.

"The banks will be able to use Tk 101 billion as loan-able fund after implementation of the revised CRR rule," a BB senior official told the FE.

The overall money supply may increase slightly following utilisation of the additional fund, the central banker explained.

The new CRR comes after a gap of nearly four years. The central bank last increased the ratio by 0.5 percentage points to 6.50 per cent on June 23, 2014.

The BB's latest moves came amid strong criticism from different quarters including economists and banking sector experts.

They also expressed the concern over slashing of the CRR, saying that it would further push up the inflationary pressure.

"Aggressive lending will start again with additional funds and non-performing loans (NPLs) will increase further," former BB Governor Salehuddin Ahmed told the FE earlier.

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