Looting of banks won’t change unless the government changes

24 September 2021 Editorial Desk
Looting of banks won’t change unless the government changes

In recent days we have learnt almost all techniques on how to loot money from banks and financial institutions. We've seen large amounts of money taken away from state-run and private commercial banks either through bad loans by big corporate houses or through over invoicing in the name of import. We've even seen the country's foreign reserves stolen by cyber pirates. But now, we see a VIP customer was given Tk 19 crore from the Union Bank's vault directly after banking hours. A vigilance team of Bangladesh Bank on Monday found that a total of Tk19 crore went missing from the vault of the bank's Gulshan branch in the capital. Tk 31 crore was supposed to be in the vault but only Tk12 crore was there. Such an abnormality is unprecedented. The incident was kept secret for more than 72 hours. The central bank admitted it to the media on Thursday.

Who doesn't know that a vault is a bank's safe place for deposited money? But what when such a huge sum of money goes untraced. What's most suspicious was that bank authorities did not file any complaint with law enforcers even after three days. Although it is a gross violation of banking rules, money lending from vaults is not new in the banking system. It depends on the customer-banker relationship and it always happens during banking hours. Usually, the amount remains small and the customer refunds the money to the bank before the banking hour ends. If it is not, the bank faces the problem of keeping its papers updated. Strangely in this specific case, the money was given after the banking hours, which is totally illegal. And the amount of money was quite large.

As far as we know, a branch manager has no capacity to give such a big amount of money to a customer - even if he is a  VIP - without approval of the top brass. Clarifying the matter, Deputy Managing Director of Union Bank Hasan Iqbal on Thursday told media that Tk19 crore was given to a VIP customer after banking hours in the evening. That means,big shots of the bank are directly involved in the incident. We've no words to condemn the way of taking money from the bank. It's nothing but robbery. Signing no documents and keeping no mortgage, no one can take bank's money from the vault directly. We believe such an incident took place due to the prevailing culture of impunity in the country. The looters enjoy the indemnity not facing any trial for taking away more than one trillion taka as loans from different banks. They also have no headache after siphoning off billions of taka from the country. So, why would they be afraid of taking money from the bank vault directly
Robbing, looting and plundering have turned essential for the survival of government party and not the people. Nothing will change unless the system of government is changed.

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