President Irfaan Ali has assured that the distribution of the foreign currencies at banks is being addressed and the government is working with the suppliers for a more efficient system.
On Saturday President Ali said the challenge businesses face with accessing foreign currency is due to the distribution of the currency at banks. He explained that the latest engagement between the banks and the government was last Friday, when it was revealed that one bank had a large demand for foreign currencies as compared with the other local banks.
“We are not sitting on this issue, we understand that the demand for business and transaction is increasing so we are working on many different fonts right now to address this issue.
“We are working on this ensure that we have a viable financial sector. We did meet with the bankers association and the Central Bank and what we discovered is there’s a distribution problem within the banking sector.
“There is sufficient foreign currency but you have some banks that have a large amount and few of them that don’t have sufficient amounts.
“We are working with the suppliers and bankers to ensure that there is more efficient distribution in the system,” President Ali assured.
Chairman of the Private Sector Commission Paul Cheong also addressed the issue on Saturday and shared the President’s assurance that the interbank clearance is the major issue and it is being addressed.
In February, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Timothy Tucker, took to Facebook 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.
The News Room understands that the Private sector players are complaining of a shortage of foreign currency, specifically US dollars, needed to conduct transactions locally.
In March the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Bank of Guyana, the country’s central back, met to discuss the issue. There, it was noted that an interbank network exists to facilitate the sharing of currency among banks but moral suasion, not any rules, is relied upon to encourage the banks to share.
Stakeholders agreed that despite there being a shortage of foreign exchange at some banks there is no overall shortage of foreign exchange in Guyana given that the aggregate supply of foreign exchange is meeting the aggregate demand and therefore the market remains in equilibrium.