Published:  03:11 AM, 14 March 2019 Last Update: 03:41 AM, 14 March 2019

Scams, anomalies hamper banks

The government has been providing capital backup to the state-owned banks to mitigate their capital deficit. But still capital deficit in these banks is getting intensified. Ten banks have been suffering from acute capital deficit including six state-owned banks. The capital deficit of these banks has reached 26, 690 crore taka.

These ten banks are Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Janata Bank Limited, Sonali Bank, Basic Bank, Agrani Bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, ICB Islamic Bank, Bangladesh Commerce Bank, AB Bank and National Bank of Pakistan.

Most of the state-owned and private banks have been affected with huge sums of defaulted loans. The magnitude of defaulted loans has amounted to approximately 1 lakh 44 thousand crore taka including written off credits.

Financial sources have informed that most of the defaulted loans have been transferred abroad by money launderers. Money launderers often transfer money to overseas destinations by over-invoicing and under-invoicing. Reportedly the amount of laundered money has gone up to 6 lakh crore taka during last ten years.

Enormous figures of defaulted loans and mysterious loans have put a number of banks in capital deficit and liquidity crisis. Most of the banks have failed to recover their defaulted loans. Financial experts have said that political influence, nepotism and lack of good governance are responsible for banking scams and financial turmoil in Bangladesh.

Banking sources have stated that most of the loan scammers got bank loans through fake mortgages. Economists have also urged the regulatory authorities to examine the facts and figures regarding the top borrowers who have taken big sums of loans from different banks.

Even some banks have failed to save their provisions. Influential borrowers get stay orders from court and thus they escape through the loopholes of banking regulations. Powerful loan defaulters get their loans rescheduled ten to twelve times.

Former adviser to caretaker government Dr. Wahiduddin Mahmud said to The Asian Age, "Putting political pressure on banks should be stopped. Good governance cannot be established in banks in the middle of political interventions." Dr. Ahsan H. Mansur, Executive Director, Policy Research Institute told The Asian Age, "The regulatory institutions should strengthen their surveillance on banks. Defaulted loans and money laundering increase due to the failure of the regulators."

Professor Dr. Abul Barkat, President, Bangladesh Economics Association, said to The Asian Age, "Lack of accountability is responsible for mounting corruption and irregularities in banks. The government should crack down hard on the perpetrators who have committed loan rackets." Professor

Anu Muhammad, Jahangirnagar University told The Asian Age, "Bangladesh's banking sector has gone into the grips of financial culprits. Most of them are so powerful that banks cannot take any action against them."

Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said to The Asian Age, "The government should take uncompromising steps to rescue banks from corruption with immediate effect."

---Asian Age Special

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