Last update 10/29/2011 8:08:00 AM (GMT+7)

Importers complain bankers charge them high for dollars

VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of import companies have once again complained that they have to pay the additional fee of 4-5 percent when buying dollars from banks, which makes the actual dollar prices equal to the black market’s prices.

A director of a plastics import-export company in Tan Tao Industrial Zone in HCM City said that his company does not have earnings in dollars from exports, and it regularly has to buy dollars from banks to import plastic beads for domestic production.

He complained that commercial banks charge very high these days for dollars. Especially, he usually has to pay additional fees called the “money counting fee” and “file record fee”. The fees are really high at some banks, at 3.5-5 percent, which makes the real dollar prices in the transactions equal to the black market’s prices.

Under the current regulations, the dollar prices quoted by commercial banks must not be higher by more than one percent than the interbank exchange rate announced daily by the State Bank of Vietnam. The regulation aims to keep the dollar prices stable and prevent the prices from increasing too dramatically.

Commercial banks have to follow the regulations stipulated by the central bank. However, the actual exchange rates applied by the banks in the transactions with businesses are much higher than the quoted prices. Buyers not only have to pay the dollar prices, but also have to pay additional fees for the dollars.

The importer said that on October 26, the dollar price was sold by banks at 21,800-21,900 dong per dollar.

The problem is that the transactions are considered “illegal”, because the dollar was sold at the prices which were higher than the quoted prices. Therefore, commercial banks cannot issue the bills which truly reflect the dollar sale prices, while buyers, due to the lack of regular vouchers, cannot enter the real purchase prices into their accounts.

“In this case, the taxation bodies will refuse to accept the additional fees as the regular expenses, while we will be taxed on the expenses,” he complained.

General Director of a steel company in Tan Binh district in HCM City, also said that he regularly has to pay dollars to import materials, while he sells finished products on the domestic market for dong. Therefore, he has to buy dollars from banks to make payment for the imports. On average, the company imports up to 10 million dollars worth of materials a month.

As such, when the dollar price increases and the dollar price applied by banks is higher by 1000 dong per dollar than the quoted price, his company incurs the loss of 10 billion dong a month.

“We signed contracts at the prices based on the quoted exchange rate, while we have to buy dollars at the black market’s prices which are always higher than the banks’ rates,” he explained.

In fact, only importers complain about the high prices of the dollars charged by banks, while exporters, who have earnings in dollars from their exports, still feel safe from the dollar price increases.

Nguyen Van Kich, General Director of the Can Tho Import-Export Seafood Company, said that he has the earnings in dollars; therefore, he does not have to worry about the dollar supply. Though the company has to pay dollars to import materials, the earning from exports is still higher than the spending in dollars.

Pham Xuan Hong, General Director of Saigon 3 Garment Company also said that he does not worry about the dollar shortage, because the company’s exports can bring dollars, and the dollars needed to pay for material imports only eat up a part of the dollar volume earned from exports.

Especially, export companies can be the big suppliers of dollars to commercial banks; therefore, they always can easily buy dollars from banks, provided that they will sell dollars to banks when they have.

“Therefore, if some banks overcharge us, we will leave for other banks,” he said.

Source: VnExpress