July 11, 2021 | banking

RT Bank says not to blame for salary delays

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — RT Bank on Thursday denied there are delays with transactions and exchanges at their institution contributing to the government’s failure to pay its employees on time, after a lawmaker named the bank when explaining why civil servants have not been paid yet.

“We have proof, the date for the SWIFT [transfer], the date is fixed. Parliamentary committees can come here and see the situation,” Hamila Gardi, CEO of Region Trade Bank (RT Bank), told Rudaw’s Sangar Abdulrahman. “Parliamentarians don’t understand that process.”

“There was a time when the transaction was delayed from the oil company,” she added, but that is no longer the situation. “I have helped the government so that the salary is not delayed.”

“RT Bank is under the monitoring of Iraq’s central bank as well as America’s treasury. I have proof, documents and SWIFTs,” she added.

The head of parliament’s finance committee on Wednesday said one of the reasons the government is late paying its employees is because of delays in dollar to dinar exchanges at two banks in the Kurdistan Region, one of them RT.

“As of yesterday $50 million that was collected for salaries were not exchanged at RT bank,” said Ziyad Jabbar.

For months, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has not paid its civil servants on time and not all are paid in full because of reduced government revenues and budget disputes with Baghdad.

Gardi said the accusation from parliament unfairly puts her bank in a bad light. “We don’t like it that we serve the people and the government so much and then parliament points fingers at us and says ‘their system causes delays’,” she said.

RT Bank started its operations in July 2001 as a locally owned, independent bank primarily servicing the Kurdistan Region. In November, Gardi received a prestigious business award in Dubai.


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