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IBBL`s inner conflicts deepen

Its top brasses make self-contradictory statements on Zakat Fund

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20th-May-2017       
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Staff Reporter :
The internal conflicts in the newly restructured Islami Bank have deepened with the issuance of statements on the bank's stance on Zakat Fund by its Chairman and the Vice-Chairman.
Arastoo Khan, new Chairman of the Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL) on Thursday differed with the media reports that the bank would give Tk 450 crore to the Prime Minister's Zakat Fund.
Terming the reports as 'completely bogus' he said the bank is now holding only Tk 28 crore in its Zakat Fund'.
The IBBL Chairman also alleged that its vice-chairman Syed Ahsanul Alam Parvez frequently made false statements to the media, questioning the bank board members' credibility.
"The IBBL vice-chairman also commented about the report that the bank would disburse Tk 13 crore during the Ramzan to the Muslim citizens as iftar donation through the government's Social Welfare Department, which was not correct," Arastoo said.
"The board decided to disburse the money but it would be provided under its own management," he added.
"Ahsanul talked to media persons and gave false information to reporters in the last 15 days, which tarnished the image of the bank, government and the prime minster," Arastoo told the press conference organised by the IBBL at its headquarters in the capital.
The bank's vice-chairman raised such type of issues that were not discussed at all at the bank's board meeting, the bank chief also said.
"The bank is yet to appoint any spokesperson to talk to the media, but Ahasanul gave comments violating the banking rules," he claimed.
Meanwhile, Ahsanul on May 13 claimed that he had been threatened and asked to step down from the bank's board.
In a Facebook post, Ahsanul, also an independent director of IBBL, said that some top officials of the bank backed by corrupt government officials were involved in an 'exclusion-inclusion conspiracy' in the bank's board of directors.
Such conspiracy might force me to resign from the bank's board, he said in the Facebook post.
The IBBL chairman also contradicted Ahsanul's media statements where he said that the list of beneficiaries of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme run by IBBL would be sent to the home ministry for investigation.
"The board did not take any such decision," The IBBL Chairman said.
Asked whether IBBL would remove Ahsanul from its board, Arastoo said that the independent directors usually enjoy more power than the shareholder directors.
It is a long process to remove any independent director from a bank's board, he pointed out.
In a reply to a call over mobile phone, Ahsanul informed The New Nation through an SMS (short message service) that the bank did not arrange any security measure for him, so he could not attend the meeting.
In an opaque reference to the threat he faced, the IBBL vice-chairman said, 'IBBL did not file any general diary. An officer only sent an application form to me so that I could file the GD myself.'
Arastoo, however, at the press conference claimed that in reply to a bank's request to attend the press briefing, the IBBL vice-chairman had informed him that he was now in New Delhi of India.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a Saudi Arabia-based sponsor of IBBL, earlier took decision to sell around 5 per cent of its total shares in IBBL. IDB holds 7.5 per cent of the bank's shares.
IBBL, allegedly having connection with Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, went through a major restructuring in its management and board in January this year in accordance with government's desires.
On January 5, former IBBL Chairman Mustafa Anwar, Its Vice-Chairman M Azizul Huq and Managing Director Mohammad Abdul Mannan resigned from the board and former Bangladesh Commerce Bank Chairman Arastoo Khan was made the new Chairman of the bank.
The then Union Bank Managing Director, Md Abdul Hamid Miah, was made the new Managing Director of IBBL.

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