Showing posts with label banking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label banking. Show all posts

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Afghanistan's Banking Sector Corrupt and Inept

A recent report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has found that Afghanistan's banking regulatory agency has stonewalled American attempts at oversight and intervention. The report states that the Afghan financial sector (infected with corruption and graft) could severely hinder the country's development. The Afghan government's financial sector regulatory agency - known as Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) - has had all aid from the U.S. government cut off due to non-compliance with safeguard measures and monitoring requested by the United States. In addition, technical aid from other international players remains limited due to the past history of corruption and the lack of accountability in the banking oversight process. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not have any advisors assisting the DAB. The report is entitled Afghanistan's Banking Sector: The Central Bank's Capacity to Regulate Commercial Banks Remains Weak, SIGAR 14-16 Audit Report, January 2014. The report, an Adobe Acrobat PDF (17 pages) is available at this link.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

M-Paisa - Mobile Banking in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, despite its backwardness and economic difficulties, is in the forefront of a new mobile-money and banking era. Money is being exchanged with customers and merchants via cellphones utilizing a service called "M-Paisa". This service also is used to pay policemen throughout Afghanistan - eliminating much of the corruption that took away almost 30% of a policeman's pay. Eventually Afghans will be able to pay their electric bills over their cell phone. One of the few bright spots in Afghanistan is the development of a robust telecommunications network that provides for a higher standard of living not only in communications but in banking and other economic services. Read more on M-Paisa in "How Afghanistan is on the Leading Edge of a Tech Revolution", Time, March 2, 2013.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Problems with Kabul Bank

It appears that the Kabul Bank is still the source of difficulties in the U.S. and Afghan government relationship.  The U.S. (and others) want to conduct an audit of the Kabul Bank in order to move forward in getting it back on track toward it becoming a bank and source of stability - instead of a honeypot for Karzai and his cronies to dip into for foreign investments, financing Karzai's re-election, and plush homes.  Unfortunately, Karzai does not want an audit that is handled by foreign governments - he wants Afghan control over the audit (and no doubt its findings).  Read more in "U.S. and Afghans at odds over Kabul Bank reform", The Washington Post, October 7, 2010.