The meeting called by the executive committee of the National Bank is not taking place. Bangladesh Bank has taken steps to remain in charge of the Managing Director (MD) even after various loan irregularities and expiration. In view of this, the chairman of the executive committee of the bank and MP Parveen Haque Sikder called a meeting of the executive committee in a hurry, which was to be held next Monday. Bangladesh Bank was also informed about the meeting. However, the meeting was abruptly canceled today.
Zainul Haque Sikder, longtime chairman of National Bank, died on February 10. On 24 February, his wife Monowara Sikder took over as the new chairman. Although no loan has been approved by any board meeting after December 26, the distribution has continued. Besides, the meeting of the executive committee has not been held for almost a year. As a result, many top officials of the bank are continuing their duties even after the expiry of their term. When the central bank took action on various issues of the bank, Parveen Haque Sikder wrote a letter to call a meeting of the executive committee on an urgent basis.
What is happening in National Bank
In a letter to Shah Syed Abdul Bari, deputy managing director of the bank, Parveen Haque Sikder said on Tuesday, “According to the letter from Bangladesh Bank and the news published in Prothom Alo, I am urgently calling an online meeting of the executive committee on various irregularities of the bank.” At the same time, Parveen Haque Sikder has instructed the bank’s officials to explain the allegations that have been made and the loans that have been disbursed without approval since January. Incidentally, the term of Shah Syed Abdul Bari also expired last February. He is still in the existing tabiyat.
In view of this, the bank will hold a meeting of the executive committee next Monday, he said in a letter to Bangladesh Bank. Because, a representative of Bangladesh Bank attended the meeting of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the bank. However, yesterday suddenly informed that the meeting has been canceled.
After the death of the chairman, his sons were running the bank. Some top officials of the bank are also involved in various irregularities. It may be mentioned that National Bank is the first generation private bank in the country with a loan amount of more than Tk 42,000 crore.
Control of the Sikder Group
With the change of government in 2009, the board of directors of National Bank Limited (NBL) also changed. The authority of the bank then passed to Zainul Haque Sikder, Chairman of Sikder Group. Then all the other directors were tactfully fired. The Sikder family took sole control of the bank by adding his wife, children, relatives and Awami League leaders to the board. From then on, the financial health of this first generation bank started deteriorating. According to the bank’s financial report, the bank’s defaulted debt was Tk 36 crore in 2009, which increased to Tk 2,065 crore in December. Among the private sector banks, National Bank is the most defaulted and has eliminated defaulted loans from its financial statements. Even then the defaulter could not reduce the debt. The canceled loan was Tk 2,154 crore last year. According to a report by the central bank, the bank has not been able to recover the loans of more than one institution but has not identified them as defaulters. This does not paint a picture of the real defaulter.
Banks have to maintain securities in the proper sense of defaulted loans. The National Bank has not been able to keep it for several years. The central bank is also giving the bank a chance to make a profit on paper by giving the opportunity to keep reserves late. Last December, the bank also had a reserve deficit of Tk 435 crore.