Financial Institutions Division at a meeting on Thursday expressed disappointment over a slow recovery of the bad and written-off loans by scam-hit state-owned banks. The meeting evaluated indicators-based performance achieved by the banks in the first six-month (July-December) of the fiscal 2018-19.
FID secretary Asadul Islam presided over the meeting held at the secretariat in capital Dhaka.
ABM Ruhul Azad, FID additional secretary, conducted most part of the meeting after Asadul was summoned by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal to Economic Relations Division at Planning Commission for a meeting.
Ruhul Azad said the managing directors of the banks were asked to improve recovery rate of the defaulted loans.
They were also asked not show any excuse for the poor performance in the sensitive defaulted loan area, he said.
According to the first six-month evaluation papers by FID, Sonali Bank, largest state-owned commercial bank with the stigma of Hallmark loan scandal, could recover bad loans worth Tk 614 crore against the recovery target of Tk 900 crore.
SB also lagged behind in recovering written-off loans as it could realise Tk 87.16 crore against its target of Tk 200 crore.
The state-owned banks are committed to achieving targets in 45 areas as per annual performance indicator since 2014-15.
Despite good performance in many areas, poor recovery of the bad and written-off loans by the state-owned commercial banks undermined the annual performance agreements, Azad said.
Reeling with the Crescent Group and Annon Tex loan scams, Janata Bank could recover Tk 158 crore in bad loans from its target of Tk 500 crore.
The bank recovered written-off loans worth Tk 18.93 crore against its target of Tk 150 crore.
BASIC Bank that has been incurring losses since 2013 after providing shady loans worth over Tk 4,500 crore by the previous board of directors led by former chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu between 2009 and 2014 could realise Tk 77 crore in bad loans against its target of Tk 140 crore. The bank recovered Tk 20 lakh in written-off loans against its target of Tk 10 crore.
Since assuming office, new finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has been stating that bankers would have to recover bad loans, amount of which is a great concern for the nation.
The amount of bad loans in the country’s banking system has increased to around Tk 1,00,000 crore amid a lack of political commitment to recovering defaulted loans.
By the end of September this fiscal year (2018-19), defaulted loans rose to Tk 99,370 crore, 11.48 per cent of the total outstanding loans (Tk 8,65,930 crore) in the country’s banking system, according to the Bangladesh Bank’s latest data.
The amount of defaulted loans in Bangladesh is much higher than bad loans in Nepal (2 per cent) and in India (7 per cent).
As of September 2018, defaulted loans in six state-owned commercial banks — Sonali, Agrani, Janata, Rupali, BASIC and Bangladesh Development — stood at Tk 48,080 crore or about 48 per cent of the total bad loans.
Mustafa Kamal has already directed the ministry to appoint a high-powered committee with the tasks of amending the bank company act and others related acts for bolstering the bad loan recovery rate.