Narinjara News

Banks in distress

Maungdaw, 31
st July 03:  A number of private commercial banks in western Burma have been facing closure due to drastic reduction in transactions since the bank crisis began in mid-February this year.

Sources in a private bank in Maungdaw, a township on the Naaf River across the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf said that their bank is facing closure and inability to pay the employees as people have lost faith in bank transactions.  “The private banks are now sitting idle, sometimes even without one transaction in an entire day,” an official in a private bank said.

The private banks operating in Rakhine State, in the western part of Burma, include Asia Wealth Bank, Kanbawza Bank and Yoma Bank.  “People have been attracted away from private banks and the entire banking system since they cannot take out their required amount of money from their own deposits as there are restrictions on the amount of money an account-holder can withdraw,” the official in the bank said.

In Sittwe, the capital of the frontier state, the price of an imported 100 cc Chinese motorbike has come down to kyat 500,000 from kyat 700,000 as people lost their buying power.  “We can’t sell one bike in a month now as money vanished due to the inability on part of the banks to pay back their clients,” said an owner of a motorbike shop, “how can I survive if I can’t even pay the rent of my shop?”

The trade and commerce in the hub of the state has also slowed down in the face of bank crisis and many restrictions imposed on the transport of everyday essentials including the onion, pulses and cooking oil, the official concluded.  #