Two leading business groups of the country have received an interest rebate of about Tk 40 billion (4,000 crore) from the banks they own and Bangladesh Bank has given no objection to it.

More business groups are also trying to get interest rebate and all of these loans are from private banks.

Amid such circumstance, the central bank issued instructions stating that state-owned banks and specialised ones are not allowed to minus their income sectors. That means private banks can provide interest rebate from their previous income, thus, the central bank made it easier for business groups that are out to get interest rebate.

The central bank, however, said approval will be required rebating interest for bank directors, their families and firms concerned.

Evil alliance of bank directors

Previously bank directors took loan at their will but this opportunity is dropped due to legal barrier. Then taking loan more than the limit began through nexus between the directors of banks, and thus, an evil alliance was formed between the directors of both banks. Now these directors are providing full interest rebate to each other.

Private National Bank Limited provided interest rebate on entire loan of a business group based in Chattogram while several Islamic banks including First Security Islami Bank, Global Islami Bank, Union Bank and Social Islami Bank Limited gave interest rebate to a business group based in the capital. Banks face risk because of it with people’s deposit facing the big risk.

Banks are giving interest rebate on the loans, which are somewhat old. Bank showed these interests as income, made profit out of it, paid taxes against it and provided dividend to shareholder from these profit too. So question arouse how bank will adjust this interest. Regulating body Bangladesh Bank is not taking any action and supporting it silently instead and in some cases, the central bank is giving the approval.

Who receive how much interest rebate?

Crisis-hit National Bank gave an interest rebate of Tk 21.99 billion (2,199 crore) to seven companies of a Chattogram-based business group and this firm already paid the principal amount of loan worth Tk 49.28 billion (4,928 crore) and left the bank.

Prior to this, Bangladesh Bank gave a no objection to interest rebate to this seven clients with various conditions within a day. These interests had been imposed for 10 years as National Bank’s Khatunganj branch in Chattogram and Gulshan branch in Dhaka had provided the loans to these seven companies in various times since 2003.

Besides, First Security Islami Bank, Global Islami Bank, Union Bank and Social Islami Bank Limited altogether gave an interest rebate of Tk 20 billion (200 crore) to a family and most of it was in power sector. First Security Islami Bank alone gave interest rebate of Tk 14.29 billion (1,429 crore), so the loan amount now stands at Tk 5.20 billion (520). As a result, financial base of the banks gets crumbled.

Usually, banks do not assess their loans and interest separately but now they have adopted separate assessment on interest to provide the rebate.

Influential groups received privileges

Former NCC and Meghna banks managing director Mohammad Nurul Amin retired after serving in banking sector for 40 years. He once worked in National Bank. When he was asked about interest rebate without mentioning the name of the banks and the clients, Nurul Amin told Prothom Alo this is neither possible morally nor really. There is no instance of giving interest rebate for 10 years.

If any firm is closed or its owner fails to run it or its owner dies, then interest rebate can be given but not entire interest. There is no opportunity to provide rebate on interest, which banks showed as income, paid taxes against it and provided dividend to shareholders. And, such impossible has been possible because certain big influential group and big interest is involved behind it.