PM Hasina to meet private bank owners Tuesday evening

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has invited private bank owners of Bangladesh to discuss the ongoing crisis in the banking sector.

The premier will discuss strategies to resolve the crisis during a meeting with the bank owners Tuesday evening. Later, she will also have dinner with them at Ganabhaban.

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According to an insider, the prime minister herself invited the bankers for dinner.
Commenting on the matter, Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) President and also Chairman of Exim Bank Md Nazrul Islam Mazumder said: “The prime minister invited us for dinner at Ganabhaban.

“We will discuss matters of interest and have some food.”

According to sources, Sheikh Hasina will give directions to the bankers on issues such as slashing the interest rate to single digit, reducing defaulted loans and curbing irregularities in the sector.

Earlier on Sunday, BAB held a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir. In the meeting, it was decided that 50% of funds of government organizations would be kept in private banks.
Meanwhile, the private banks will receive funds amounting to Tk10,000 crore, due to the 1% decrease in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) agreed upon by the Bangladesh Bank in the tripartite meeting.

Finance Secretary Md Muslim Chowdhury, Financial Institutions Division Secretary Yunusur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank deputy governor SM Moniruzzaman and Advisor SK Sur Chowdhury and top BAB officials were present in the meeting.

On March 30, AMA Muhith held an emergency meeting with BAB and Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB), which was attended by chairmen and managing directors of all banks in Bangladesh.

On March 29, BAB President Md Nazrul Islam held a meeting with the finance minister, and discussed ways to bring back discipline in the banking sector.

Following the meeting, Nazrul said: “We are making a serious effort to bring down the interest rates to a single digit.”

According to data revealed by Bangladesh Bank, businessmen are paying double digit interest installments in all 57 commercial banks in Bangladesh. Some of these banks are imposing more than 15% interest on loans given to industrial companies.

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