Businesses complain of US Dollar shortage for wire transfers; BOG says banks are hoarding


The Bank of Guyana (B.O.G) is maintaining that there is no shortage of foreign currency, particularly the U.S dollar in Guyana, despite numerous complaints from members of the business community.

On Wednesday, during a telephone interview, B.O.G Governor, Dr. Gobind Ganga refuted those complaints and suggested that hoarding might be the reason people, businesses, and some commercial banks are making this claim.

“There is no shortage of U.S currency. Everyone has enough,” Dr. Ganga said pointedly.

“If people are hoarding, what do you want me to do?” he further quizzed.

In fact, Dr. Ganga said he was in talks with the management of at least one commercial bank Wednesday morning and there was no report of a shortage.

But President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Timothy Tucker, took to Facebook on Tuesday to complain that in spite of the assurances from the Bank of Guyana, he has been waiting for the last two weeks to get U.S dollars from a local bank for a wire transfer to pay a supplier.

Other business people shared Tucker’s frustration and some even alleged under his Facebook post that larger Trinidad-based companies are using US dollars from Guyana to pay for bills in the Twin Island Republic.

In a subsequent interview with the News Room, Tucker said he had no reason to believe there was hoarding, although it may exist in some quarters.

Tucker was, however, adamant that the Bank of Guyana needs to seriously reform its monetary policies to encourage more interbank/bank-to-bank transfers and the sale of U.S dollars.

He said while the bank he spoke about on Facebook seemingly has a shortage of U.S currency at this time, there is heavy liquidity of the currency at Scotia Bank.

“The Bank of Guyana needs to create the system, monitor the system, and ensure that the need for foreign currency on the local market is met.

Tucker, in advocating for policy changes at the central bank, also brought into sharp focus another troubling issue at Republic Bank.

He said that while the central bank is slow and sometimes reluctant to approve foreign currency accounts, Republic Bank charges a nine per cent fee to facilitate each transaction.

“So, imagine depositing US$100, 000 and nine per cent is just for Republic Bank to accept the money.

“The Bank of Guyana needs to look into these things. There needs to be a strong look at the Bank of Guyana and what role it plays in a modern growing economy.

“Their policy position [needs to change] to embrace a modern and newer Guyana,” Tucker posited.

He said the issues laid out above, in one way or another, severely affect business transactions, particularly those across borders.

“The Bank of Guyana needs to take a more aggressive position to ensure foreign currency is available at all banks,” Tucker reiterated.

He said no one can deny the importance of fostering foreign currency trade among local banks, not just for U.S currency but for other currencies like the Canadian dollar.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    Something wrong……as all invoices to primes are paid in USD and if the Company billing is local …..all money is transferred to Guy$ ….. something fishy.

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