NBL broke rules to reschedule MP aspirant’s loan: BB


Business Desk :
National Bank Limited (NBL) delivered false information into the Bangladesh Bank’s credit information bureau database to hide the default loans of one of its clients, said a Bangladesh Bank letter.
The central bank later asked the private bank to explain why its officials should not be penalised for this.
As per its rules, the BB can fine the bank officials concerned Tk 50,000 to Tk 5 lakh if any false information is submitted to the database.
The banking regulator on December 6 wrote to the National Bank Limited (NBL) managing director saying that the loan of defaulter “Marium Construction Ltd” was first reported under the bad and lose (BL) category in the CIB database on November 15. Then on December 3, the loan was reported under standard (STD) category.
Alam Ahmed, an adviser of Bangladesh Krishak League, the ruling Awami League’s farmers’ front, is the managing director of Marium Construction Ltd. He is in a legal battle for running for parliament as an independent in Gazipur-4.
When Bangladesh Bank enquired about the discrepancies before writing to the NBL, the bank said the loan had been rescheduled. But the BB said the loan was reported under the unclassified category in the CIB database without having a no objection certificate (NOC) from it which was a clear violation of its rules.
While tpeaking, Bangladesh Bank spokesperson and Executive Director Md Mezbaul Haque said they had sent the letter to the bank asking it to explain the matter, but a court stayed the effectiveness of the BB’s letter for three months.
Alam had taken the loan from the Gulshan branch of NBL and Tk 491 crore is outstanding.
The NBL rescheduled the loan but the central bank on October 23 instructed it to cancel the rescheduling because the BB did not find any business activities of the Marium Construction at the address mentioned in the loan application.
According to the central bank’s inspection report, the NBL’s client withdrew the loan amount and transferred it to various accounts. The Anti-Corruption Commission is carrying out an investigation into this incident.
Mehmood Husain, managing director and CEO of NBL, told this correspondent on Wednesday that they committed an “unintended error”.
Officials of the bank’s CIB department erroneously updated the CIB database placing the loan under standard category instead of BL category (on December 3), he said.
The MD said they later updated the CIB report showing the client as a defaulter.
“We learnt that the central bank informed the Election Commission about the defaulter because he is willing to participate in the upcoming national election,” Mehmood said.
Following an application by the client, the Supreme Court chamber judge on December 19 directed the EC to allow Alam to run and to allocate a polls symbol for him.
Later, the Awami League candidate for Gazipur-4, Simeen Hussain Rimi, filed a petition with the Appellate Division seeking cancellation of the chamber judge’s order.