Irregularities in banking sector
We know that depositors are the owners of banks but nowadays the fast growing culture of default loans compelled me to say that: defaulters are the owners of banks. As defaulter may mean whose faults are deleted from book of accounts, which is extended grace/mercy shown by the concerned authorities. But ironically now a defaulter is a successful business star--SBS of this poor nation.
As per latest report of Bangladesh Bank, the total amount of default loan crossed BDT 1.5 trillion of which BDT 392.5 billion is write off debts beside a sharp rise by BDT 12,000 thousand crore, over previous year. The central bank called an emergency meeting with MDs of several banks including the state-owned banks to handle this irregularity and epidemic disorder in banking sector. It would not be that much beneficial as the borrowers are least interested to settle the loans. In most of the cases the borrowers are desperate enough to honour the rules and law as they are under the shade of a punishment proof umbrella or PPU.
The defaulters are very much sure that there is no strict and stern punishment for them, they are not to return the loan and this way that way they will manage the situation in their favour. So far, we are hearing the fabulous and funny tales of these defaulters before the national budget or after the budget or through media and newspapers but yet no one is behind the bar or compelled to refund the loan or his assets are confiscated.
In addition, he and his family members are enjoying ever luxurious moments, here in Bangladesh and abroad, in star hotels and countries of personal interest. Beside, a good percentage of the loan amount is drained out of the country against their residence, apartments, health check-up. Education of their family members and business of known or unknown origin.
I would not hesitate to write that default loan is a syndicated business between and among four groups--the defaulters, the loan issuing bank, the central bank and the politically influential people. The defaulters directly play in the dry business field and the rest three share the good or the bad moments as and when necessary. If the loan issuing bank remains strict, honest and non-compromising in all the processes, definitely there would not be any financial scam.
Still, if anything happens it would be under control and within bearable efforts. Beside, Bangladesh Bank, the guardian, the supervisory authority and the custodian of all banks and public money have a great and important role to play in issuing and realizing the loan amount. Strict and honest supervision, surveillance, monitoring, time to time meeting with the borrowers are needed to avoid any sort of financial mishap. One must keep in mind that it is public money and anybody should not gamble with it, and should not wrestle with this money for personal interest and gain.
Human being by nature is dishonest, it is the law and punishment that makes him a bit honest. Above all, banking sector must be free of any sort of political influence in any way. Political leaders by nature are patriotic , kind and soft hearted , compromising , so they would not hesitate to exert personal and political pressure on banking authorities to disburse the loan in favour of their comrades , their followers and their younger whom they found behind their back during political campaigns on street and fields! In such a situation, the banking authorities are somewhat unable to refuse or stand against political request and pressure rather they comply and execute the loan as per recommendation and will of the superiors .
It is high time to save the banking sector from the clutches and culture of default loan. If not , at one time today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow the whole economy will sank in an unknown ocean thus ruining the constant progress of this fast growing nation, under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina--the daughter of the father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We humbly request the honourable prime minister to take strict action against the loan defaulters and save the banking sector from further deterioration.
Let we all say--this soil belongs to me, this nation belongs to me. We all are the custodians of the national flag and the national wealth. No more irregularities and no more default. Zero tolerance to defaulters.
The writer is a freelance contributor