PLFS depositors demand quick repayment

Staff Correspondent | Published at 11:06pm on October 19, 2020

Depositors of People’s Leasing and Financial Services Limited, which has been in the process of liquidation, on Monday placed three-point demands, including an intervention of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to get back their money.

The depositors of the non-bank financial institution outlined the demands at a human chain programme they held in front of the PLFSL office in the city’s Motijheel area, demanding a quick repayment of their money kept with the People’s Leasing.

A large number of depositors of PLFS gathered in front of its head office where Individual and Small Depositors’ Council chief coordinator Mohammad Atiqur Rahman and its secretary general Rana Gosh placed the demands.

Atiqur said that many of the depositors, who used to live on the returns against their deposits, had become helpless due to the decision to liquidate the entity.

Some are suffering badly due to their inability to get an access to required treatment, he said.

‘We have deposited money with PLFS in due process and complied with all procedural requirements but they cheated us,’ he said.

Samiya Binte Mahbub, a depositor of PLFS, questioned whether keeping money with a Bangladesh Bank licensee was their fault.

‘Where was the central bank when only very few people embezzled the money and fled the country?’ she questioned. Shamiya said that the depositors wanted reconstruction of PLFS not liquidation.

Once liquidated, the depositors would not get back their money and that’s why their demand is to reconstruct PLFS, she said.

Depositors, at the event, demanded scrapping the move to liquidate PLFS.

Instead, they demanded reconstructing the entity, as it was followed in the cases of Padma Bank and BCI Bank, to return depositors’ money at the quickest possible time.

The restructure of the non-bank financial institution would not only help payment of the depositors but also be helpful for the image of the government, the depositors said.

In a written speech, the depositors also demanded bringing the persons responsible for the scam to book and preventing the persons from fleeing the country.

‘Impose a freeze on assets and bank accounts of the individuals responsible for the collapse of PLFS,’ they demanded.

The finance ministry on June 26 last year allowed the BB to go for liquidation of the PLFS due to the entity’s failure in repaying depositors’ money following massive irregularities in loan disbursement.

Of the Tk 1,131 crore outstanding loans of PLFS, Tk 748 crore or 66.14 per cent of the total loans has become non-performing loans.

Although PLFS depositors met finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and BB governor Fazle Kabir and demanded refund of their money that they had kept with the PLFS, neither the finance minister nor the BB governor specified any deadline for repayment of money but assured them of a quick repayment.