By Sailu Bah
Foreign exchange bureaus within Banjul were not using the western union facility yesterday, 7 May. The development comes on the heels of the announcement of the new exchange rate system, imposed by the presidency. This was confirmed by operators at the different exchange bureaus within the city, on Thursday 7 May 2015.
An operator in one of the bureaus said that, since on Tuesday he has not been paying clients using the western union facility, because “the Central Bank has not yet updated the new system to be in line with their business.”
He said a lot of customers who have foreign currencies are refusing to change them to Dalasi due to the new rates. ”Clients who have hard currencies are being discouraged from changing their foreign currencies to dalasi due to the low exchange rate. Many come with foreign currencies but they go back with them because they consider the exchange rate to be very low, but I hope that with time they will get used to the new system,” he remarked.
He further said that, people who bought the foreign currencies at the old rate, which he said is more expensive, are not willing to sell them at the new rate, which he said is totally slowing down business.
Similar comments were made by another operator, who said that, they are still waiting for the Central Bank to update the new system for them to be able to start paying clients using the western union facility. He further revealed that as at now the rates stand at: Euro buying D38, selling D42; Dollar is now D35 buying, D40 selling; the Pound Sterling is Buying D49, D52 Selling.
In reaching out to some importers as well as businesspersons to see how the new exchange rates have impacted on their business, it was revealed that the new system will not have impact on the business as at now, unless it stays for so long, e.g. 5 to six months. Asked whether we are expecting prices to go down due to the new change rates, they responded in the negative, adding that the stock that is in the market was imported through old foreign exchange rates, so therefore the stock remains the same unless the new system remains the same for a long time.
This reporter went to the Central Bank to get their reaction to claims that they are yet to update the new exchange rates in their system for exchange bureaus to be able to use the western union to serve their to clients. This reporter was asked to leave his contact details to be called later.
Foroyaa will still make a follow up with the Central Bank on this issue.