Major changes were made to the board and management of Social Islami Bank on Monday as Chittagong-based S Alam Group allegedly tightened its grip on yet another bank.
The chairman of the board of directors, executive committee chairman and managing director were changed at a special meeting of the bank held at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka on the day.
Removed SIBL chairman Rezaul Haque, executive committee chairman Anisul Haque and managing director Shahid Hossain were not present in the meeting.
Former Chittagong University vice-chancellor Anwarul Azim Arif was made new chairman of the bank, while First Security Islami Bank additional managing director Quazi Osman Ali was made managing director of SIBL.
NRB Global Bank vice-chairman Belal Ahmed was made executive committee chairman of SIBL.
Anwarul Azim told reporters that outgoing chairman, EC chairman and MD resigned from their posts and the changes were made at the meeting.
S Alam Group, which controls First Security Islami Bank and Union Bank, recently tightened its grip on Islami Bank as it bought a significant amount of shares of Islami Bank through a number of companies.
Islami Bank also witnessed major changes in its management and board recently.
Bangladesh Bank officials are also puzzled as to why the Group is taking control of so many banks.
S Alam Group chairman Md Saiful Alam could not be reached over phone for comments despite repeated attempts Monday evening.
Bank sources claimed that S Alam Group through different companies bought around 39 per cent share of SIBL in last few months.
The Group’s move came following an alleged attempt by another business group, United Group, to enter into the board of SIBL after it bought around 30 per cent share of the bank.
United Group, however, failed in its attempt and sold out the stake and S Alam Group entered into the race, said bank sources.
The Chittagong-based business group has blessings of the current government with getting work order for a major power plant and taking control of a number of banks.
‘If any business group takes control of so many banks, it is not a pleasant matter for the overall banking sector and is also against the good governance in the sector,’ Mirza Azizul Islam, a former adviser to an interim government, told New Age on Monday.
The scenario may be the fallout of the recent amendment to the Bank Company Act which has expanded the scope of control in a bank by a family allowing four directors with three consecutive terms from a family in a bank, he said.
‘There will be lack of good governance in the banking sector if such trend continues,’ he said, adding that the interest of depositors might also be hurt as there might be nepotism in loan disbursement and recovery process.
Family members, relatives and friends of the family might get priority in getting loans, he apprehended.
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