Unisame slams banks denial to return dollars to accountholders

Unisame slams banks denial to return dollars to accountholders

Unisame slams banks denial to return dollars to accountholders

Unisame slams banks denial to return dollars to accountholders

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KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has invited the attention of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) towards the commercial banks, which are not returning dollars deposited in the foreign currency accounts, causing hardships to the customers, a statement said on Wednesday.

The depositors have kept the dollars in their saving accounts for the purpose of travel such as visiting their relatives, Umrah, Haj, tuition fees and for emergency travel for medical treatment.

Unisame President Zulfikar Thaver said that the banks were saying that they do not have dollars and; therefore, they are unable to return the foreign currency. They are offering Pakistani rupees instead of the greenback at the current exchange rate.

Since the bank rate is much lower than the open market, it is causing a loss to the foreign currency accountholders, he added.

The bank rate is around Rs228 to a dollar, whereas the market rate is around Rs268, depending on the daily demand and supply position.

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In this case, if a depositor who is in urgent need of his own currency deposited in the bank and refused withdrawal by the bank with whom it is kept as Amanat (trust) would have to purchase it from the open market at the rate, which is again higher than the buying rate and that too if available.

The Unisame Council members have urged the central bank to direct the banks to honour the request of the foreign currency accountholders at all costs and not to damage the trust of the customers.

The business community fully realises the difficulties being faced by the banks and are prepared to abstain from withdrawing the dollars if not in real need but they have expressed concern only for those who have to withdraw it because of the dire need for a bona fide purpose, the council added.

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