Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – At least one dozen Bangladeshi commercial banks are now searching for new banks in the United Kingdom (UK) to open their accounts to ensure continuation of their foreign exchange activities from the European country, bankers said.
The local leading commercial banks have taken the latest move against the backdrop of issuing a notice by the Barclays Bank Plc, a London-based multinational banking and financial services company, announcing withdrawal of its money transfer service offered particularly by small and medium money transfer companies including the Bangladeshi exchange houses operating in the UK.
Under the existing provisions, the Bangladeshi money transfer agencies in the UK have to open accounts with local banks to remit money to Bangladesh on behalf of expatriate workers and non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs). 
Currently, 14 commercial banks are running their exchange houses in the UK for strengthening the flow of inward remittance from the western country. Excepting two exchange houses, all other 12 have already received the notices from the Barclays Bank Plc allowing 60 days after issuing the instructions.
The issue was discussed at the last bankers’ meeting held in the central bank on May 16 with Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair. At the meeting, the Sonali Bank Limited was asked for taking preparation to open accounts of the local commercial banks with its UK branch. 
Chief executive officer and managing director Pradip Kumar Dutta informed to the BB on Sunday that Ataur Rahman, chief executive officer of the Sonali Bank Limited in the UK, a subsidiary company of the state-owned commercial bank, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Tuesday, a central banker said.
“We’ll take next course of action after receiving feedback from the Sonali Bank Limited in this connection,” the BB official said, adding that the central bank is now working on the issue.
Representatives of 17 exchange house and money transfer companies held a meeting in London on May 7 to find a way out for resolving the possible problem, a chief executive of a leading commercial bank said.
At the meeting, they expressed their concern over the issue, saying that it may create problems in remitting money from the UK to Bangladesh if the problem is not resolved immediately.
The UK is one of the top sources of inward remittance to Bangladesh. The country received US$12.31 billion as remittance during the first ten months of the current fiscal year 2012-13. Of this, $851.26 million had come from the UK.
BBN/SSR/AD-28May13-11:21 am (BST)