Internal conflicts within the newly restructured Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd’s board deepened as its chairman Arastoo Khan on Thursday alleged that IBBL vice-chairman Syed Ahsanul Alam Parvez frequently made false statements to the media against the bank.
Ahsanul talked to media persons and gave false information to reporters in the last 15 days, which damaged the image of the bank, government and prime minster, Arastoo said at a press conference organised by IBBL at its headquarters in the capital.
‘The IBBL vice-chairman raised such type of issues which were not discussed at all at the bank’s board meeting. The bank is yet to appoint any spokesperson to talk to the media, but Ahasanul gave comments violating the banking rules,’ he claimed.
Ahsanul claimed on May 13 that he had been threatened and asked to step down from the bank’s board.
In a Facebook post, Ahsanul, also an independent director of IBBL, said that some top officials of the bank backed by corrupt government officials were involved in an ‘exclusion-inclusion conspiracy’ in the bank’s board of directors.
‘Due to the conspiracy, it’s only a matter of time before I am forced to resign from the bank’s board,’ he said in the Facebook post.
Ahsanul told media persons, falsely, that the list of beneficiaries of the corporate social responsibility programme run by IBBL would be sent to the home ministry for investigation, but the board did not take any such decision, he said.
The IBBL vice-chairman also made a comment that the bank would disburse Tk 13 crore during Ramadan, the fasting month for the Muslims, to Muslim citizens as iftar donation through the government’s social welfare department, which was not correct, Arastoo said.
The IBBL board decided to disburse the money but it would be provided under its own management, he said.
Arastoo said that Ahsanul also said that the bank would give Tk 450 crore to the prime minister’s zakat fund, which was ‘completely bogus as IBBL is now holding only Tk 28 crore in its zakat fund’.
Asked whether IBBL would remove Ahsanul from its board, Arastoo said that the independent directors usually enjoyed more power than the shareholding directors.
It is a long process to remove any independent director from a bank’s board, he pointed out.
In a reply to a call over mobile phone, Ahsanul informed New Age through an SMS (short message service) that the bank had not arranged any security measure for him, so he could not attend Thursday’s meeting.
In an opaque reference to the threat he faced, the IBBL vice-chairman said, ‘IBBL did not file any general diary. An officer only sent an application form to me so that I could file the GD myself.’
Mentioning names of three directors of IBBL, he requested New Age to talk to them on the issue.
But the three directors could not be reached over mobile phone.
The IBBL vice-chairman also said, ‘I am sending the SMS from a safe place.’
Arastoo, however, at the press conference claimed that in reply to a bank’s request to attend the press briefing, the IBBL vice-chairman had informed him that he was now in New Delhi of India.
The Islamic Development Bank, a Saudi Arabia-based sponsor of IBBL, earlier took decision to sell around 5 per cent of its total shares in IBBL. The IDB holds 7.5 per cent of the bank’s shares.
IBBL, allegedly having connection with Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, went through a major restructuring in its management and board in January this year in accordance with government’s wishes.
On January 5 this year, former IBBL chairman Mustafa Anwar, its vice-chairman M Azizul Huq and managing director Mohammad Abdul Mannan resigned from the board and former Bangladesh Commerce Bank chairman Arastoo Khan was made the new chairman of the bank.
The then Union Bank managing director, Md Abdul Hamid Miah, was made the new managing director of IBBL.
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