The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued a warning to all banks across the country to accept old and small US dollar notes or face hefty penalties. It was observed by the SBP that some banks and money exchange firms were not entertaining the public by showing reluctance to accept old and small US dollar notes.
The issue of not accepting older and smaller US dollar notes was discussed at a meeting held at the SBP. Attended by the representatives of 30 different foreign exchange companies and banks, the meeting agenda was to find a solution of the problem. Millions of Pakistani are affected by this problem and as a result they are losing millions of dollars.
The foreign exchange companies in Pakistan charge around 3-5 percent more to exchange old and small US dollar notes on the grounds that banks do not accept these notes, and they have to export the notes to Dubai which cost them 3-5 percent extra. Nevertheless, banks representatives dismissed this claim during the meeting by saying that they do accept old US dollar notes. However, representatives of foreign exchange companies objected to this statement claiming it’s grossly misrepresent the actual situation.
Moreover, foreign exchange accounts holders, particularly overseas Pakistanis, have been complaining for a while that banks give them old US dollar notes, but generally don’t accept them.
“The State Bank has asked all banks to accept all kinds of US dollar notes and the SBP will accept them from banks,” said Zafar Paracha, secretary general of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, who attended the meeting.
It is important to mention that during the meeting, banks representatives pointed out that even SBP does not accept US dollar notes lower than $100 or $50 denomination. Responding to this, the SBP clarified that they are planning to hold another meeting very soon in order to resolve this issue.