Sunday November 27, 2022

Exchange rate manipulation: Probe against banks to complete this month, says SBP

SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad said the investigations against the commercial banks involved in the exchange rate manipulation will be completed this month

November 15, 2022
The SBP building. The SBP site.
The SBP building. The SBP site.

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad on Monday said the investigations against the commercial banks involved in the exchange rate manipulation will be completed this month.

“It’s being looked into by our inspection team. The deadline [for the investigations’ completion] is the end of this month. Then, we will take the necessary regulatory action against them [the banks],” Jameel Ahmad told reporters after he addressed at the School of Business Studies, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at the inauguration of the finance lab.

There were eight banks at first. Later, we expanded the probe to other banks, he added. “We discovered the suspected banks by looking at their volumes. We have concentrated on the banks which were actively involved in the forex trade,” he said.

He said the SBP is a professional organization and works on merit. “We are targeted to clear all the LCs of up to $100,000 by end of this week.” “At present, we are having over $9 billion forex reserves, which are more than sufficient to meet the international payments,” he added.

The SBP governor showed optimism that academia would help improve financial literacy not only for students but also for wider sections of society through innovative means, IBA said in a statement.

He pointed out that this is an area where regulators and academia can potentially partner and bridge the gap by working towards a common goal of inclusive growth. Jameel Ahmad hoped the lab would bridge the gap between industry and academia, and between theory and practice in the area of finance by providing students an opportunity to immerse themselves into real-world problems. He stressed the need for establishing and strengthening a formal collaboration mechanism between academia and industry, for designing courses and setting a research agenda, which serves the objectives of both businesses and academia. He suggested that trade organisations should play an instrumental role in providing a consultative platform as well as arranging funds to finance academic research, given their ability to identify key areas of research, and pool in required resources.

The SBP governor also suggested collaborating with credit bureaus to test and create credit scoring models, especially those based on alternative data or otherwise aimed at the segment of individuals and businesses that have no collateral and little or no credit history. He said that the Finance Lab should also focus on increasing the awareness of individual savers across the country to understand the risks and returns associated with different avenues and increasing retail investments in government debt papers and corporate bonds.