The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has not received official communication from US authorities or the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) regarding restrictions on processing payments linked to the ACU, said a senior central bank official.
The ACU is an arrangement facilitating payments for intra-regional transactions among nine countries, including Bangladesh.
Other members include India, Bhutan, Iran, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh uses the ACU to clear import bills, which average around $1.5 billion annually and impact foreign exchange reserves.
The Economic Times recently reported that Indian banks approached the Reserve Bank of India after the US Office of Foreign Assets Control instructed them to avoid processing payments connected to the ACU mechanism.
An unnamed top banker warned that restrictions on ACU payment settlement could harm Bangladesh, as the country is a net importer, especially from India. Such restrictions might discourage Indian exporters from conducting trade with their Bangladeshi counterparts.
The situation surrounding the US restrictions on ACU payments remains uncertain. Bangladeshi authorities and banking institutions are closely monitoring the developments for potential impacts on trade and foreign exchange reserves.