Baku: To impart more insight into the information on banks’ taking cash foreign currency illegally out of the country and related expert comments referring to the report of the Chamber of Accounts of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2020 published in mass media the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan is stating the following.
The relevant report of the Chamber of Accounts covers the results of 2019, not 2020, and these facts reflect shortcomings in customs administration within the framework of inspections carried out at the Air Transport Head Customs Department.
During the period under review, commercial banks operating in the Republic of Azerbaijan took AZN1.1B equivalent worth cash foreign currency out of the country officially and in accordance with the requirements of the legislation. These operations were aimed at depositing these funds to correspondent accounts with foreign banks in accordance with normal banking practice.
More than 90% of cash foreign currency exported by banks from the country was in EUR. Following the decision of the European Central Bank to withdraw 500-euro banknotes from circulation, banks exported the banknotes of the same denomination for transfer to their correspondent accounts with foreign banks due to the fact that those banknotes were in mass withdrawn from circulation and handed over to commercial banks. Another part of the funds taken out of the country was intended for use in settlements in foreign banks, as well as to be deposited in non-resident banks to earn income.
We would like to emphasize once again that in all cases, these funds were not the funds of any customer, but the banks themselves.
We would like to advise you that bringing into and taking out of the country of cash foreign currency by banks are official banking operations and are regulated by business processes and normative legal documents in place in banks and are strictly controlled by relevant currency control authorities.
The said operations were reflected and recorded in official reports of banks, in reports submitted to the Central Bank, as well as in the balance of payments.
Source: Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan