The bank will appoint two auditors
The Banking Division has directed the Agrani Bank board to open a functional audit to find out whether irregularities were committed in granting loans to four companies.
The move comes as there are allegations that the bank pandered to misdeeds in disbursing loans to Sun Moon Group, Tanaka Tradecom International, Jaj Bhuiyan Group and BTL Group.
This is the third time that the Banking Division has called for an audit into a state bank.
Agrani Bank will appoint two chartered accountancy firms for the audit. Previously, chartered accountancy firms were appointed in the scam-hit Sonali and BASIC banks for functional audits.
The Banking Division has instructed Agrani to appoint SF Ahmed & Co and MABS & J Partners for the functional audit. They have also been asked to submit their reports in two months.
Contacted, Agrani Bank Chairman Zaid Bakht confirmed that they have received such a directive and will soon appoint the two audit firms.
The BB also served notice on Agrani Bank Managing Director Syed Abdul Hamid last month, seeking explanations from him under the banking companies act for nine counts of irregularities.
The BB letter mentioned that Agrani violated rules for loans amounting to Tk 792 crore.
The move against Hamid comes after the central bank's inspections into Agrani's main branch and the Asadganj and Laldighi East branches in Chittagong established the allegations against him.
The BB notice said Hamid approved loans for a select few clients by violating the directives of the central bank and the Agrani board of directors.
In 2011, a Tk 120 crore loan was extended to Tanaka Tradecom International from the bank's main branch. The loan was approved by Agrani's board with the condition that supplementary collateral will be kept as security with the bank.
Tanaka Tradecom later proposed changes to the condition, which Hamid approved without the consent of the board.
Later in 2015, he rescheduled loans of the company amounting to Tk 10.79 crore -- a decision he was not authorised to make.
Serious irregularities were also committed in disbursing loans to Mizanur Rahman Mizan, a customer of Agrani's main branch, and various companies linked to the client's Sun Moon Group.
The outstanding loans now stand at Tk 300 crore and they have become risky.
An official of the BB said the central bank also found irregularities in loans given to Agrani's other clients, including Zaynab Trading of Chittagong.
The central bank inspection found that a huge amount of loans was extended to a company in Chittagong whose address was not found.
In this regard, Bakht told The Daily Star that the two bank officials involved with these loans have been suspended.
Instructions have been issued to file criminal cases against the officials and the borrowers, he added.
News:The Daily Star/1-Mar-2016