The defaulted loans in the banking sector rose by Tk 11,236.68 crore in just three months (January-March) of this year, according to the latest central bank data.
An expert and Bangladesh Bank officials said that the banking sector would face a vulnerable situation soon if the existing upward trend in the classified loans continued.
According to the BB data released on Tuesday, the amount of defaulted loans in the banking sector stood at Tk 73,409 crore as of March 31, 2017, rising from Tk 62,172.32 crore as of December 31, 2016.
BB officials said that the amount of defaulted loans in January-March of 2017 had increased significantly compared with that in the same period a year ago as the central bank had recently unearthed a number of financial scams in different commercial banks.
The defaulted loans increased by Tk 8,040.22 crore to Tk 59,411.44 crore as of March 31, 2016 from Tk 51,371.22 crore as of December 31, 2015, the BB data showed.
The BB has recently appointed observers to two banks – NRB Commercial Bank and AB Bank — as it found huge irregularities in the banks.
The central bank will be forced to appoint observers to more banks if the rising trend in defaulted loans persists in the coming days.
The defaulted loans stood at 10.53 per cent of the total outstanding loans of Tk 6,97,001 crore in the banking sector as of March 31, 2017. The defaulted loans were 9.92 per cent of the total outstanding loans of Tk 5,98,648.21 crore as of March 31, 2016.
Former interim government adviser Mirza Azizul Islam told New Age on Tuesday that financial stability in the banking sector would decrease more if the banks failed to curb the upward trend in the defaulted loans.
He said, ‘The excessive defaulted loans will create risky situation for the depositors. So, the authorities concerned should take immediate measures to control the non-performing loans in the interest of the whole financial sector.’
The BB, the finance ministry and the law ministry should take a joint initiative to decrease the defaulted loans, he said.
The huge defaulted loans have already put an adverse impact on the good borrowers as they have to count higher interest rate due to the non-performing loans in the banking sectors, he said.
The BB data showed that defaulted loans in the six state-owned banks — Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali, BASIC and Bangladesh Development Bank — increased by Tk 4,691 crore to Tk 35,716 crore as of March 31, 2017 from Tk 31,025 crore as of December 31, 2016.
The non-performing loans in the private commercial banks rose by Tk 6,670 crore to Tk 29,727 crore as of March 31, 2017 from Tk 23,057.07 crore as of December 31, 2016.
The defaulted loans in the two specialised development bank — Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank — posted an unchanged NPL amount of Tk 5,684 crore between December 31, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
The specialised development banks usually submit their defaulted loan figures after every six months.
The defaulted loans in the nine foreign commercial banks, however, decreased to Tk 2,282 crore as of March 31, 2017 from Tk 2,405.30 crore as of December 31, 2016.
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