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Defaulting loans: BB removes One Bank Chairman, Mercantile Bank Director

  • Published at 12:22 pm July 6th, 2020
Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury
Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury Collected

The banking regulator issued instructions pertaining to Chowdhury’s removal to the bank concerned on the same day in line with the recommendation of a probe report

Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Monday removed Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury from the board of directors of One Bank for reasons of loan defaults.

The banking regulator issued instructions pertaining to Chowdhury’s removal to the bank concerned on the same day in line with the recommendation of a probe report, said Bangladesh Bank executive director and spokesperson Md. Serajul Islam.

“Bangladesh Bank scrapped One Bank chairman’s directorship as a number of companies associated with him are loan defaulters, making him ineligible to hold the directorship under the Bank Company Act, 1991,” Md. Serajul Islam added.

Sayeed Chowdhury was elected chairman of One Bank in August last year. Earlier, he had served the bank as chairman several times.

He became a defaulter due to a failure to repay loans of Standard Bank by one of his associate companies, said a high official of the central bank.

Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury is also the chairman of HRC Group. HRC shipping lines, a subsidiary company of HRC group, became defaulters of Standard Bank as the entity did not repay the loans, sources at the banking sector have told Dhaka Tribune.

Till January 2019, total liabilities including interest of HRC shipping Lines to Standard Bank stood at Tk121.43 crore.  A few other companies under the group are also defaulters of a number of other banks, it is learnt.

Dhaka tribune tried to reach him over phone, but his cell phone was found switched off. 

As per One Bank website, Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury founded the HRC Group in March of 1991.  Initially starting as a shipping agency, the group is now a leading conglomerate of Bangladesh consisting of nineteen member companies with diverse interest which includes but is not limited to ship owning, chartering and agency, tea estates and rubber, plantations, blending and packaging of tea for local market and export, real estate, print media, lighting industry, distribution, travel trade, insurance, housing finance, Merchant banking, Information Technology, etc.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Sunday also removed ASM Feroz Alam from the board of directors of Mercantile Bank over loan defaults.

The BB issued the removal instruction to the bank on the same day as per a recommendation of the probe body, said a high official of the central bank.

Earlier, in communication with Bangladesh Bank, Mercantile Bank sought the reappointment of ASM Feroz Alam as a director of the bank, given that his tenure expired in December last year.

There is no chance to approve the appointment of ASM Feroz Alam as a director of the bank as per the provision of section 15 (6) of the Banking Companies Act 1991 owing to the involvement his organization in defaulted loans, according to the removal instruction.

Meanwhile, the central bank approved the appointment of AKM Shaheed Reza, Allhaj Mosharref Hossain and M Amanullah as directors of Mercantile.

As per Mercantile Bank website, ASM Feroz Alam is the Chairman of Bengal Trading Limited (Japan). He is a Sponsor Shareholder of Premier Leasing & Finance Ltd. 

Feroz Alam is also the director of National Television Ltd. (RTV) and the Founder of Saheda Gafur Ibrahim General Hospital in Kaliya of Patuakhali.

Feroz was removed  as per provisions of Section 15 (6) of the Banking Companies Act 1991 relating to the involvement of his organizations in defaulted loans.

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