Gov’t to probe commercial banks on alleged dollar malpractices
The governor of the Bank of South Sudan, Dr James Garang, is planning to engage the heads of the commercial banks to wipe out alleged malpractice related to dollar lending by the banks.
Several dollar auctions have been conducted by the Central Bank to tackle local currency depreciation, but little has been achieved.
Traders constantly claim that the dollar auction by the Central Bank finds its way to a few individuals who later take it to the black market rather than giving it to the public.
This has forced the citizens to ask for the whereabouts of the auctioned dollars. Commercial banks have been on the receiving end of blame for refusing to give dollars to the public and instead engaging in alleged malpractices that further aggravate currency depreciation.
In response, Governor Garang said they could not rule out such an allegation and would engage the commercial banks to find out.
However, he said that the bank has no evidence, although it will continue to hunt the commercial banks behind those acts.
“The public is saying that they are not accessing hard currency in the banks and the forex, whether one individual is driving or buying for these banks and not lending; that we cannot answer, and we have no evidence for that,” he said.
He argued that the Central Bank and financial institutions would sit down to discuss the matter to get an amicable solution, adding that some banks might have branched from what they were to do.
“But expectations are sometimes one thing, and reality is another. We will find a way to engage the heads of the commercial institutions to share with them what we are hearing also from the public,” Garang said.
He appealed to the commercial banks to avail dollars to the public, as that is the intended purpose for which it is given to them.
“As the regulator, ours would be to encourage them to lend to the general public because the whole idea of them buying from us is that they meet the needs of the public, and if they do not, then we need to find out why.”
He added that the bank could not accuse anyone since there is no evidence that commercial banks failed to do what was meant by them.