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Islami Bank in crisis 15 months into changeover

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL), the country’s largest private sector bank has fallen into deep crisis in just one and half years of the change in ownership. Mainly due to mismanagement and internal conflicts.Bankers, depositors, investors and economists are worried as they think the crisis in the country’s largest private bank will affect the whole economy.

Earlier the country’s best performing public sector bank-Basic Bank – faced the same fate. The bank is in deep crisis in this government’s tenure due to a Tk 45 billion loan scam.

this is the first time Islami Bank has fallen into a liquidity crisis after the change of the ownership and management. The bank which was once a popular bank to businesspeople for sanctioning loans, has narrowed down its loan programme. Once depositors used to come to this bank and now the bank is in search of depositors.

In such a situation, there is also a changeover in phases in the bank’s management. One additional managing director and three deputy managing director had to resign. The bank’s vice chairman Ahsanul Alam also resigned following internal conflict within the management.On 17 April, the bank’s chairman Arastoo Khan resigned.

Former Bangladesh Bank governor Salahuddin Ahmed told Prothom Alo that there was lack of clarity to many about the changeover of Islami Bank’s management and ownership.And he also believes that investment and deposit ratio should not have been raised to 92 per cent.

The confusion should be removed. As the bank is the largest bank in the country, its harm means the country’s harm. Bangladesh Bank should look into this. This means that it should be ensured that the board will play its due role and there will not be any political interference in the bank’s operations.

If the changeover that took place one year and half years ago had brought something would be welcomed.However They have seen problems and volatility. There is doubt as to how much they will be able overcome this.

On 5 January 2017 in a close-door meeting at a city hotel. In there Islami Bank’s chairman, several directors, managing director and heads of different committees resigned and new people took charge. It was said that the change was made to make the bank free from people who belong to Islamist party Bangladesh Jamaat e Islami ideologies.

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