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Tk 10cr at risk

Farmers Bank now fails to pay Ansar-VDP Bank's deposit

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Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
In a new development, scam-hit Farmers Bank Limited fails to pay back a fixed deposit of Tk10 crore of Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank which is asking for the repayment over the past few weeks.
The fund was deposited for one year at 9 per cent interest.
"We want to pull out all our deposit in view of the fact that Farmers Bank has become insolvent," a senior official of Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank told The New Nation asking not to be named.
He said they have asked for paying back of their deposit for last one and a half months. "But they refused to pay. Now, we fear the safety of our deposit."
The latest disclosure came at a time when the cash-strapped Farmers Bank is consistently failing to pay back deposits held by other institutions and individuals.
Over the last few months, the Farmers Bank was unable to pay a matured fixed deposit of Tk220.70 crore of Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund. It twice failed to honour a cheque worth Tk 35.44 crore presented earlier by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd, in addition to failing to repay inter-bank short-term loans of about Tk700 crore to four other banks.
In October last year, Bangladesh Bank in a report to parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry said the bank had not the    capacity to pay back funds to depositors and other banks.
The cash strapped Farmers Bank sought a bail out fund of Tk 300 crore from the central bank on November 9 to tackle liquidity crisis when it failed to lure deposits even after offering high interest rates.  But the central bank refused to extend the support. 
Mohammad Jalaluddin, Managing Director of Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank, told The New Nation yesterday that they have asked for paying back their deposits but Farmers Bank has refused to pay back.
He said they need their deposit for investment but Framers Bank is using various pretexts to delay including the funds are yet to be matured. "Usually, we put our deposit to a scheduled bank for one-year maturity," he added.
Mohammad Jalaluddin, however, declined to disclose the interest rate on their deposit.
Another official of Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank said their deposit was made at Farmers Bank for one year term that expired in June last year. It was then renewed again for another year in July. 
"They are calling for completion of the full term but the way the bank is failing to honour its commitment here is a big risk to wait up to that time. We have no confidence and our priority now rests on recovering the fund," he added. 
"We will go to the Finance Ministry asking its intervention if it fails to pay back soon." 
The Managing Director of Farmers Bank could not be reached over phone for comments.

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