Two associations of bank owners and top executives on Saturday held a joint meeting on devising ways to reduce defaulted loans as per their commitments made to new finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal last week.
Leaders of Bangladesh Association of Banks, the platform of bank owners, and Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, the platform of top bank executives, held the meeting at BAB office at Gulshan in Dhaka.
‘We discussed about banking sector problems, including defaulted loans, and what measures can be taken to solve the problems. We held the meeting following our discussion with new finance minister [Mustafa Kamal]. It was a preliminary meeting,’ BAB chairman Md Nazrul Islam Mazumder told New Age on Saturday.
‘We will hold further follow up meetings and prepare our recommendations for the minister on banking sector problems so that the defaulted loans could be reduced and no loans become defaulted again,’ said Nazrul, also the chairman of EXIM Bank.
The joint meeting of BAB and ABB followed two separate meetings between BAB and Mustafa Kamal and ABB and the finance minister at Planning Commission on Thursday.
After the meeting with BAB, Kamal told reporters that no loan would be allowed to turn sour from now on.
‘Not only that, bankers will also have to recover bad loans, amount of which is a great concern for the nation,’ said Kamal.
The amount of bad loans in the country’s banking system have increased to around Tk 1,00,000 crore.
Kamal informed that bank owners under the banner of BAB would provide lists of defaulted loans and defaulters that would be crosschecked with the data from Bangladesh Bank and financial institutions division.
He also informed that the bank owners agreed to the condition (no new loan would be classified) attached by him prior to the meeting.
Nazrul, after the meeting with Kamal, told reporters that BAB would place the whole scenario of NPLs before the government within one month so that it could take further steps to cut the existing rate of NPLs.
When Nazrul was asked whether the joint meeting had discussed about reducing the interest rates, he told New Age on Saturday that they hoped the interest rate would come down if the defaulted loans could be reduced.
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