Economy, Business And Markets

Bounced Checks Data Missing in CBI Report

Bounced Checks Data Missing in CBI ReportBounced Checks Data Missing in CBI Report

In its latest monthly report (the month ending to Jan. 20) on economic indicators, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) did not include statistics on bounced checks.

Previously available figures indicated that the number of bounced checks in the two months prior to the discussed month had unprecedentedly surged in recent years.

The ratio for the number of bounced checks to total checks written and the percentage for the value of bounced checks to all checks for a two month period ending Dec. 21, 2014 were reported 6.8 percent and 7.2 percent respectively. Never had a higher number been recorded for bounced checks since 2010.    

Former CBI reports on economic indicators included a chapter titled ‘the number and amount of exchanged and bounced banking documents in Iran’s Clearing House,’ which is missing in the latest report.

A national unified electronic check processing system, ‘Chekavak’, was launched last December. The CBI explained that the chapter has been excluded in the report because ever since Checkavak went operational the data on check exchange and bounces are no longer processed with Iran’s Clearing House.

The CBI has vowed, however, to release a separate report of the related data once the process of implementing Checkavak is complete.  

Iran’s banking system has recorded 23 million bounced checks in the past four years, threatening the stability and security of this sector and the market in general.

The number of bounced checks rose 20.4 percent and reached 4.5 million checks, in the nine months to Dec. 21, 2014, compared to the same period last year. According to CBI data, the bounced checks were worth 498 trillion rials ($18.1 billion at official exchange rate), showing a 35.1 percent increase.

Bounced checks are one of the main factors engendering distrust in the market and economy.