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A legal notice was served yesterday asking the authorities concerned to conduct an inquiry into irregularities in the banking sector of Bangladesh during the last 20 years. - A home for your website

Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a human rights body, sent the notice asking the government to form a commission led by the former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin for the inquiry into the irregularities of banking sector.

The notice has been sent to Bangladesh Bank governor, secretaries of the cabinet, Prime Minister’s Office, Finance Division, Financial Institutions Division of Ministry of Finance, and law ministry asking them to form the commission within a week. Other wise, a writ petition will be filed with the High Court seeking its directive over the matter, the notice warned.

The notice alleged that state owned Sonali Bank got involved in financial irregularities by giving loan of TK 3400 crore using fraud documents from the year of 2010 to 2012. BASIC Bank, another state-run bank, which was in the best position before 2009. But after the appointment of a particular chairman, the bank turned into a bad one with at about Tk 4500 crore default loan. Besides, Modhumoti Bank, Farmers Bank and other banks also got involved into the irregularities, according to the notice.

Upon these situations, the legal notice requested the government to form a commission under section 3 of the Commission Inquiry Act 1956 for the purpose of making inquiry into the various misappropriation of banking money irregularities in case of sanction loan, bank loan interest forgiveness occurred during the last 20 years in different private and public banks.

After conducting investigation, the commission will make detail recommendations to stop the illegalities and to recommend guidelines for establishing good governance in banking sectors in Bangladesh, the notice said.

After sending the notice, Advocate Manzil Murshid, president of the HRPB, told reporters that the legal notice asking the authorities concerned to form the commission within seven days in order to recommend a guideline for establishing good governance in the banking sector.

“I will file a writ petition with the High Court seeking necessary order upon the government if it does not form the commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1956 in seven days in line with the notice demand,” Murshid said.

Central bank in last year revealed that the amount of default loans stood at Tk 22,644 crore at the end of 2011. Six years later, the amount has swelled to Tk 74,303 crore.

Sonali Bank had accumulated Tk 13,771 crores in default loans as of December in 2017, according to a Bangladesh Bank report. The amount of default loans was Tk 7,599 crore for BASIC Bank, Tk 5,819 crore for Janata Bank, Tk 5,116 crore for Agrani Bank and Tk 4,251 crore for Rupali Bank.

Bangladesh Development Bank Limited has a total of Tk 771 crore in default loans, while the state-owned Bangladesh Krishi Bank has Tk 4,263 crore and Rajshahi Unnayan Bank has Tk 1,162 crore. Among the private banks, Islami Bank has total default loans of Tk 2,529 crore. Pubali Bank has the second highest at Tk 1,898 crore, while United Commercial Bank has Tk 1,807 crores, National Bank has Tk 1,611 crores and Exim Bank has Tk 1,340 crore in default loans, according to the central bank report.