President to BML: find solution to students’ TT issue

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, BML CEO Karl Stumke (R), and Deputy CEO of BML, Aishath Noordeen (L) at the gala dinner held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BML. | Photo: President’s Office

Crossroads, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has asked the Bank of Maldives to work together with Maldives Monetary Authority to resolve the complaints of many parents regarding the changes in sending money abroad for students.

Speaking at a ceremony held at Crossroads to mark BML’s 40th anniversary, the President said the bank should always strive to simplify its services to the public.

“Parents have concerns about the recently announced limits on TT’s sent to students studying abroad. Therefore, the Central Bank, MMA and Bank of Maldives are urged to consider this matter and address these concerns ,” he said at the ceremony attended by top BML officials.

The bank’s primary responsibility should be to create and maintain trust and confidence in the hearts of the people, he said.

The bank said in the email that from 1st of this month, the dollars equivalent to tuition fees and living allowance will only be issued to tertiary full-time students above A-level, and students in professional fields such as aviation, law and medicine.

With the change, students in lower grades will have to send money in dollars. School fees, tuition fees and other school expenses for children in lower grades will also have to be remitted in dollars.

BML has been providing foreign currency support for living allowance and tuition fees for students studying abroad in grades below A Level until recently. 

While students studying abroad rely heavily on BML to receive foreign currency, BML has still maintained the restrictions imposed over the Covid-19 pandemic, although the government has said the Maldivian economy has successfully recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

If students do not receive dollars from BML and other banks, they are forced to buy dollars at high prices from the black market. Average price of dollars from the blackmarket vary from MVR 17 to 19 per USD