A prominent politician has called for the resignation of the Head of the Central Bank of Tunisia and a thorough investigation into its practices following what are said to be losses by the Bank running into the hundreds of millions.
Nidaa Tounes Deputy, Sabrine Ghoubanti, a former finance and auditing consultant launched the attack on the Head of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), Chedli Ayari in a Facebook post yesterday. In her post, which was later published by Mosaique FM, she stated that the chief banker had been responsible for having “caused the Tunisian state in loss estimated at $120 million” going on to explain that the loss had arisen from “a currency hedging error on outstanding loans.”
Normally currency hedging is used by organisations to reduce the risk of loss on foreign currency exchange by fixing the rate of exchange in advance. However, Ghoubanti states in her post that the BCT had made grave errors resulting in the massive loss.
Responding in an official press release to Ghoubanti accusation,the BCT categorically denied having made the loss. Speaking to Tunisia Live, a spokesperson for the BCT stated that the bank had been surprised “to learn about such things through social media and we would have liked that she would consult with us first.” The spokesperson added that “we have financial engagements with foreign partners, and pretending that the Central Bank is unable to, or omitted to pay back a credit puts the credibility of Tunisia at stake.”
In comments to Tunisia Live, Executive Director of anti-corruption organisation iWatch, Moheb Gharwi questioned why Ms Ghoubanti had not used her position as a Deputy to pursue her concerns, saying, “you have the mechanisms to question people so do that. Don’t just post a Facebook status.”
Tunisia Live attempted to contact Miss Ghoubanti for further comment on this matter but have not been able to reach her at the time of writing.