Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank has taken special measures to allow operation of more exchange houses in the United States in the backdrop of downward trend of remittance inflow from the world’s biggest economy, officials said on Sunday.  
The inflow of remittance from the United States of America (USA) decreased by 7.83 per cent and stood at US$1.451 billion in 2009-10 (FY10) from $1.575 billion in the previous fiscal year, according to the central bank statistics.
The flow of remittances witnessed a significant fall from the USA in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 following the global meltdown, Bangladesh Bank (BB) officials added. 
“We expect that the inflow of remittances from the USA would increase in the current fiscal year as special measures have been taken by the BB,” a BB senior official said, adding that the central bank has already issued licences to three private commercial banks (PCBs) for setting up exchange houses in the USA to expedite the flow of remittances from that country.
Three PCBs, which have already received permissions from the central bank, are the EXIM Bank Ltd, Standard Bank Ltd and Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd.
“We’re now securitizing four more PCBs’ applications seeking permission to set up exchange houses in the USA,” the BB official said without elaborating.
The BB official also said local banks have also been allowed to sign drawing arrangement deals with selective money transfer companies to facilitate the flow of remittances from the USA.
Saudi Arabia topped the list of major sources of remittance for Bangladesh with a total of $3.427 billion in FY 10, the BB’s data showed.
“The flow of inward remittances from the Middle-East countries is still at a satisfactory level despite the global meltdown,” another BB official said.
The United Arab Emirates, the USA, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea are among the other top sources of remittance.
Remittances sent by Bangladeshis working abroad reached a record amount of $10.987 billion in FY10, marking a 13.40 per cent growth over the last fiscal year.
BBN/SSR/SI/AD-25July10-10:45 am (BST)