Basic Bank’s saga of malfeasance: Tk 8000 crore embezzled

Golam Mowla
Published : 23:54, Aug 03, 2018 | Updated : 11:58, Aug 04, 2018

BASIC Bank LimitedOnce acclaimed as an ideal bank, Basic Bank, is now on the verge of bankruptcy. In the name of different fraudulent companies, more than Tk. 8 thousand was embezzled from the bank.
However, to save the bank, the government is injecting taxpayers’ money with Tk. 1000 crore given last June.
In the last four years, the loss of Basic Bank stood at Tk. 2654 crore and of the 68 branches, 21 face loss, inform sources from Bangladesh and Basic Bank.
According to bank report, from 2009-2013, in four years under Sheikh Abdul Hai Bachchu, around Tk. 4500 were taken out of the bank through loan-fraud.
From 2014 till March 2018, an additional four thousand crore was withdrawn from the bank. Central Bank report underlines high loan default as the main problem for Basic, which currently stands at 59.22 per cent.
The total default loan stands at Tk. 8594 crore.
Chairman of the bank, Alauddin A Majid, told Bangla Tribune: “from 2009 till 2013, loans were given to fake companies and many of them could not be traced.”
We rescheduled loans amounting to Tk. 4500 crore, but from that, Tk. 3000 crore is gone and we may have to find a different way to recover the loans, he added.
Bangladesh Bank’s former governor, Salehuddin Ahmed, says: “most banks in the country are in a precarious state with Basic in the worst condition.”
Those who are responsible must be punished and it will only survive when the money taken out of it is returned, he observed.
It’s also reported that despite advice against certain loan applications, money was disbursed. In this way, more than Tk. 5000 crore was handed out to hundreds of companies.
Later, when the news of irregularities came out, a new committee was formed with Alauddin A Majid as chairman and Khondokar Md Iqbal as MD. However, it’s believed that after Mohammad Awal Khan became MD, the bank has become derailed once more.
Relevant to note, as a result of gross malfeasance, Bangladesh Bank gave a letter, dissolving the management committee of the bank on 29 May, 2014.
Later, Anti-Corruption Commission, ACC, began investigation and filed 56 cases though no one from the management committee was accused.