July 11, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan bank customers holding foreign currency accounts would be able to transfer money among each others’ account with greater freedom in the future the Central Bank said. Holders of non-resident foreign currency (NRFC) accounts would be allowed to transfer money to other NRFC account holders and to resident foreign currency (RFC) accounts.
Resident foreign currency account holders would also be allowed to transfer money to other RFC accounts.
Several types of accounts opened by exporters, foreign employment agencies, gem dealers and suppliers of inputs will be consolidated under a new foreign exchange earners account.
The full statement is reproduced below:
New Operational Measures in certain foreign exchange transactions
In keeping with the announcement made by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in its â€œRoad Map for 2012 and Beyondâ€, the following measures will be implemented with effect from 11.07.2012, in relation to foreign exchange transactions:
1) New operational measures for transfers between Non-Resident Foreign Currency (NRFC)
and Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Accounts:
a) The following transactions in relation to NRFC and RFC accounts held in the same bank
or different banks irrespective of the holder of account or currency type in which accounts
are maintained, will be permitted:
(i) Fund transfers between NRFC accounts.
(ii) Fund transfers between RFC accounts.
(iii) Fund transfers from NRFC accounts to RFC accounts.
However, funds/proceeds realized from the sale of properties in Sri Lanka should be
credited to NRFC/RFC accounts, only in keeping with the existing regulations.
b) Opening of NRFC/RFC accounts by minors will be permitted through the credit of inward remittances received from their guardians/parents who are non-residents, or through the transfer of funds from existing NRFC accounts of such guardians/parents.
c) Any outward remittance out of NRFC accounts will be permitted irrespective of the underlying transaction, if the account holder is resident outside Sri Lanka.
2) New operational measures for â€œForeign Exchange Earnersâ€™ Accountsâ€ (FEEA):
A single foreign currency account, unifying several existing foreign currency accounts maintained in the banking system by foreign exchange earners will be introduced. Such new account, titled â€œForeign Exchange Earnersâ€™ Accountâ€ (FEEA) will replace the following:
a) Exportersâ€™ Foreign Currency (EFC) Account;
b) Indirect Exportersâ€™ Foreign Currency Account (IEFCA);
c) Foreign Currency Account for Suppliers of Inputs (FCASI);
d) Foreign Currency Account for Professional Services Providers (FCAPS);
e) Non Resident Foreign Currency Accounts for Foreign Employment Agencies;
f) Foreign Currency Account for Gem and Jewellery dealers, and temporary/ special foreign currency accounts authorized by the Controller of Exchange.
Accordingly, exporters, indirect exporters, suppliers of inputs, professional services providers, entrepot traders, gem and jewellery dealers, insurers, insurance brokers, travel agents, hoteliers, bunker suppliers and other residents who undertake foreign projects would be permitted to execute their current international transactions through this new FEEA.
The Central Bank is of the view that the introduction of the above measures would contribute to greater efficiency and convenience, improve investorsâ€™ confidence, strengthen foreign reserves in the long term, and stabilize the foreign exchange market.