Leasing cos dodging repayment of depositors’ money on maturity of scheme
Jahangir Hossain, a resident of Tongi in Gazipur and a client of Peoples' Leasing and Financial Services Ltd deposited Tk 5 lakh at an interest rate of 12 per cent under a one year scheme of the company.
Mirza Nazrul Islam, general secretary of Nikunja Dakkhin Abashik Elaka Kallyan Samity (Nikunja South Residential Area Welfare Society), has invested Tk 6 lakh of the society in the International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd. It was deposited at an interest rate of 11 per cent for one year.
A small trader and resident of Santibagh in Dhaka, Abul Kalam, had deposited Tk 3 lakh in Fast Finance Ltd at an interest rate of 12 per cent for a one year scheme.
Although the small scale investors had invested the amount to the leasing and financial institutions for benefit, they are yet to get a single penny from the companies even after one or two years of the maturity of scheme. Without paying the benefit, they are showing different reasons on different dates for the delay.
However, a private service holder Tapan Kumar Bishwas could recover his Tk 5 lakh investing Tk 15 lakh in the Peoples' Leasing and Financial Services Ltd's double benefit scheme in five years. As per the conditions, he was supposed to get Tk 30 lakh from the company after the scheme matures.
Tapan Bishwas told this correspondent that he had communicated with the authority of Peoples' Leasing and Financial Services after the maturity of his double benefit scheme. But, they haven't given his money back. He hasn't got his interest, or his capital.
"The authority is taking times showing different reasons to give the money back. Now, the officials concerned of the leasing company are not responding when he communicates over phone or personally. In this situation, he's passing times in frustration and fear of losing the capital and interests of the investment," he claimed.
Not only these persons, more than one lakh investors have been struggling to get back their investment from the companies. No government authority or regulators is taking any step to give funds back to the investors.
Sources said, the most vulnerable NBFIs are People's Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company Ltd (BIFC), International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, Reliance Finance Ltd, Fareast Finance & Investment Ltd, Prime Finance & Investment Ltd, Premier Leasing & Finance Ltd, First Finance & Investment Ltd, FAS Finance & Investment Ltd, Union Capital Ltd and Bay Leasing & Investment Ltd.
Although the Bangladesh Bank appointed an administrator in Peoples' Leasing and Financial Services to solve its recent crisis, the administrator couldn't take any effective measure yet due to legal barriers. Until the legal obstacles are removed, the administrator wouldn't be able to give the money back to the investors, according to sources.
When contacted, Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Sirajul Islam told the Daily Observer that they have already taken steps to amend the law to remove the legal barriers for giving the clients their money back. It would be completed soon. As soon as the obstacles are eliminated, the authority will take further steps to give the money back following the legal procedures.
Serajul Islam, however, claimed that the financial condition of very few companies is good. The rests are suffering in fund crisis. The BB authority is trying to solve their problems soon.
However, when tried to talk with the officials concerned of Peoples' Leasing on Tuesday, no one agreed to make a comment or even utter a single word with this correspondent.
According to the staffs of the leasing company, most of the officials and employees have stopped attending office regularly to avert interactions with the clients or pressures from different corners. This is the common picture of almost all other sick leasing and financial companies.
When visited the office of Bangladesh Leasing & Finance Companies Association (BLFCA) at Toyenbee Circular Road in Motijheel area on Tuesday, no one of its leaders was found in the office. When asked, staff said that they don't know their whereabouts.
Collecting contact numbers from the office, this correspondent tried to communicate with its President Khalilur Rahman, but he didn't respond to the phone calls. Although its Secretary Fajle Rahim responded the call, he didn't make any comment in this regard.