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Don’t bank on it

  • Published at 06:30 pm October 15th, 2018
Banking
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We urge the government to hold the public banks to the same standards as private banks

Banking is the backbone of any modern economy, as it essentially facilitates the operation of the entire system. Wherever money goes, everything else follows. As such, the development and direction of our nation depends on it.

Which is why it is so disappointing to see once again that Janata Bank, one of the country’s largest state-owned banks, continues to show no progress in recovering from massive losses, making one financial blunder after another.

The bank has been under fire for a while now, for issuing bad loans, failing to comply with regulations when it lent over Tk10,000 crore to two organizations, and facing capital shortfalls and incurring losses. 

Default loans of the bank also stood at 22% of its total loans, at Tk9,879cr, and given the recent track record, there is little confidence that these numbers will show signs of improvement any time soon. Additionally, Janata has also incurred a massive loss of Tk1,600cr in the first six months of the year.

For a country such as ours, on the cusp of turning a corner, shedding our LDC tag, and truly accelerating towards becoming a middle-income nation, such financial catastrophes will only hinder our progress.

The burden of such financial irresponsibility will ultimately fall on ordinary citizens -- either directly on the tax-payers, who are already bending over backwards in supporting 160 million people, or indirectly, through myriad other ripple effects.

So, we urge the government to hold the public banks to the same standards as private banks -- the country’s future depends on it.