Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB, Pashto: د افغانستان بانک; Dari: بانک مرکزی افغانستان) is the central bank of Afghanistan. It regulates all banking and monetary transactions in Afghanistan. Established in 1939, the bank is wholly government-owned. It is active in developing policies to promote financial inclusion and a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
Da Afghanistan Bank currently has around 52 branches throughout the country, with seven of these situated in Kabul, where the headquarters is also based. As of August 2023, bank customers cannot withdraw more than $2,000 a month.
Seal of the bank
The seal of Da Afghanistan Bank has the name of the bank in Pashto at the top and Latin script at the bottom, the year 1939 in which it was established, and a depiction of a Eucratides I-era coin with the Greek text, “ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΕΥΚΡΑΤΙΔΟΥ” which means “Of the great king Eucratides”.
Basic tasks of DAB are:
- Formulate, adopt and execute the monetary policy of Afghanistan.
- Hold and manage the official foreign-exchange reserves of Afghanistan.
- Print and issue afghani banknotes and coins.
- Act as banker and adviser to, and as fiscal agent of the state.
- License, regulate and supervise banks, foreign exchange dealers, money service providers, payment system operators, securities service providers, securities transfer system operators.
- Establish, maintain and promote sound and efficient systems for payments, for transfers of securities issued by the state or DAB, and for the clearing and settlement of payment transactions and transactions in such securities.
- Accept foreign bank applications from banks that wish to operate in Afghanistan.
Chief of the bank
- Habibullah Malie Achekzai, 1954—1960
- Abdul Hay Azizi, 1960—1975
- Mohammad Hakim Khan, 1975—1980
- Ghulam Hussain Jujeni, 1980—1982
- Mehrabuddin Paktiawal, 1982—1985
- Abdul Basir Ranjbar, 1985—1988
- Mohammad Kabir, 1988—1990
- Khalil Sediq, 1990—1991
- Abdul Wahab Asefi, ?—1991—?
- Najibullah Sahu, ?—1992—?
- Zabihullah Eltezam, ?—1993
- Ghulam Mohammed Yailaqi, 1993
- Mohammad Hakim Khan, 1993—1995
- Ehsanullah Ehsan, during Taliban era, 1996—1997
- Abdul Samad Sani, during Taliban era, 1997—?
- Mohammad Ahmadi, during Taliban era, ?—2001
- Anwar ul-Haq Ahady, 2002—2004
- Noorullah Delwari, 2004—2007
- Abdul Qadir Fitrat, 2007—2011
- Noorullah Delwari, 2011—2014
- Khan Afzal Hadawal, acting, 2014—2015
- Khalil Sediq, 2015—2019
- Wahidullah Nosher, acting, 2019—2019
- Ajmal Ahmady, acting, 2019 — August2021
- Haji Mohammad Idris, acting, August 2021 — October 2021
- Shakir Jalali, acting, October 2021 — March 2023
- Hidayatullah Badri, acting, March 2023 — present
Members of the Supreme Council
In July 2021, the Supreme Council at DAB consisted of:
- Ajmal Ahmady
- Dr. Shah Mohammad Mehrabi
- Katrin Fakiri
- Abdul Wakil Muntazer
- Muhammad Naim Azimi
The Supreme Council is currently unknown due to the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in August 2021.
Seizure of US-based assets
DAB owned about US$7 billion in assets held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. After the 2021 Taliban seizure of power, a group of about 150 relatives of victims of the September 11 attacks attempted to use a judgement from the SDNY case Havlish v. Bin Laden to gain control of these assets, asserting that they were now legally the Taliban’s and thus could be used to pay damages to 9/11 victims’ families. After a period of deliberation, the Biden administration went along with the request, dividing the assets into two halves, one of which would be allocated to the plaintiffs as potential damages, and the other which would be used to set up a trust fund to “support the needs of the Afghan people” but which the Taliban government would remain barred from accessing. On 26 August 2022, a judge recommended to not award damages as the bank is “immune from jurisdiction” and that it would “acknowledge” the Taliban as the legitimate Afghan government