Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury is Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM). He accomplished his Bachelor and Masters in Economics from Jahangirnagar University. Later on he obtained PhD in Economics from Himachal Pradesh University, India. He joined BIBM as a Lecturer in 1981. By means of his professional capability and efficiency he became the DG of BIBM. Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury recently spoke to The Asian Age on different issues related to the country's banking and financial sectors. The interview was taken by Shah Alam Nur, Senior Correspondent of The Asian Age.
The Asian Age (AA): Please tell us something about the Annual Banking Conference.
Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury (TAC): This is our annual conference aimed to discuss several issues. At the conference the experts and academicians will share their experiences. Several current issues of bank and financial institutes will be discussed at the conference.
Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) has been organizing the Annual Banking Conference since 2012 which is helping to sharing information and knowledge with the participation of academics, researchers and financial experts.
AA: What is the impact of the banking conference?
TAC: The banking conference is an opportunity to sharing experience of all experte and stackholders under a single roof. The banking conference has got huge popularity in the industry. Throughout year we are getting querrles regarding as when will be next conference? The popularity showed that banking conference has a positive impact. The experts and policy makers came across different research findings and documents which helping them to policy
AA: What's the objective of the conference?
TAC: It is a two-day long platform for interactions that intend to bring together cross-border banking experts, academic scholars and researchers to exchange and share knowledge, ideas and thoughts on banking and other relevant issue.
The banking industry throughout the world is facing too many problems and challenges. The objective of the conference is to help banking sectors of the countries to come up with required solution to keep pace with a rapidly changing global banking environment.
A number of business sessions will be held during the conference and a number of research papers will be presented. Experts, bankers, researchers and students will attend the sessions.
The topics of discussion will range from comparative banking practices to regulatory and supervisory issues, products, performances, opportunities and challenges.So, the annual banking conference is expected to help the participating countries in building up better capacity to run banking operations.
AA: The volume of non-performing loans (NPLs) & default loans in our banking industry have been on the rise. What is the reason behind it? How to get rid of these problems?
TAC: Despite a great deal of progress with the banking and financial sectors of Bangladesh, there are some problems which cannot be ignored. The rising amounts of defaulted non-performing loans are instances of the irregularities most of the banks in our country are suffering from.
People who have defaulted large sums of loans should be prosecuted and exemplary actions should be taken against them. Establishing strong good governance is very much required for better banking. If governance improves, it will certainly elevate the quality of banking functionalities and it will have beneficial effects on the country's economy too.
AA: Economists often say that most of the financial scammers do not face prosecution in Bangladesh. What would you say about this point?
TAC: Most of the financial scammers are not prosecuted in Bangladesh. For this reason financial anomalies and corruption in the banking sector is constantly increasing. Offences always happen more frequently when there is no
AA: What is your opinion about the capability of Bangladesh Bank?
TAC: No country in the world can boost its economy or banking system without strengthening its central bank. It is true in case of Bangladesh's too. It is essential to upgrade the strength and independence of Bangladesh Bank for the betterment of the country's banking sector and to eliminate corruption from banks.
It is also necessary to make Bangladesh Bank independent from the government's influence. Bangladesh Bank cannot initiate required measures against corrupt bankers if the government puts influence on Bangladesh Bank's authority. For this reason the central bank should be allowed to work freely and fairly.
AA: Thanks for sharing your valuable time with us.
TAC: You are most welcome.
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