NRB Commercial Bank has restructured its board of directors as part of an initiative that should help restore the confidence of business banks and depositors with respect to the bank .
The development comes after the Bangladesh Bank advised the four-year bank to reform its board of directors, said a number of BB officials yesterday at The Daily Star, asking not to be appointed.
Otherwise, the central bank would intervene and take action, as it did in the case of Farmers Bank, another fourth-generation bank that's bogged down in massive financial problems .
Subsequently, a meeting of the emergency council was convened at NRBC headquarters in the capital.
Led by Tamal SM Parvez, the new management sent the chief executive, Dewan Mujibur Rahman, for a three-month leave and appointed Deputy General Manager, Kazi Md Talha, as Acting Director General.
Mohammad Shahid Islam was named new vice president, replacing Tufic Rahman Chowdhury. Abu Bakr Chowdhury, Rafiqul Islam Mia Arzoo and Adnan Imam have also been appointed new chairs of the executive, audit and risk management committees.
Parvez told the daily yesterday that the restructuring was done with the blessing of all the directors, including former President Farasath Ali.
"Farasath Ali tried to restore the image of the bank but failed.He felt that he was partially responsible for the crisis of the image of the bank. best interest of the bank, he resigned from his post. "
The directors were previously involved in an internal quarrel, but the latest restructuring put an end to all the infighting, Parvez added.
In November of last year, the central bank counted 10 counts of wrongdoing on the part of the NRBC board of directors, including loans exceeding 700 crore Tk by violating the credit standards and allowing foreigners to attend meetings.
According to the findings of the central bank, former Merchantile Bank president Shahidul Ahsan had benefited from nearly 44 TK crore shares held by two promoters-directors of NRBC, in violation of the Bank Company Act
"Ahsan is the beneficial owner of the shares held by two NRBC directors – Kamrun Nahar Sakhi and ABM Abdul Mannan," the BB report said, adding that this means the shares are being confiscated.
For example, the bank council approved a 140-crore loan for AG Agro, a concern of Ahsan Group, on May 8, 2013 – just four days after Ahsan submitted his loan application.
Since the guarantee against the loan was only 3.91 crores, the BB advised the bank to reduce the loan amount. But the council instead raised the loan amount to 183 crores in May last year, which put the bank at risk, according to the BB report.
Ahsan attended an NRBC Annual General Meeting as a representative of Sakhi, who lives in Canada. He has also attended several meetings of the bank's board of directors and the executive committee.
As allegations of irregularities at the bank began to surface in 2015, Sakhi and Mannan were replaced by AKM Shafiqul Islam and Syed Golam Farouque – the two directors of the Ahsan Group, which belongs to Ahsan.
But Farouque had attended four bank council meetings even before his appointment, found the BB investigation. Subsequently, on March 20, the BB sent a letter to the then President, Ali, asking him to explain why the board of directors would not face the action for his crimes.
On December 6, the BB also decided to remove the bank's chief executive from his alleged involvement in a number of loan scandals, to be thwarted by the High Court the next day. The court also issued a rule asking the BB and the government to explain why the central bank's decision to withdraw Rahman should not be declared illegal.
The central bank will request the cancellation of the petition filed by Rahman at the earliest, said his deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury.
Contacted yesterday, Rahman said: "I asked the new office to take no action against me by violating the decision of the High Court and circular BB."
NRBC default loans rose to 194 crores Tk at the end of the third quarter, up from 128 crore Tk a year earlier.