Two Shariah-based banks borrowed Tk 1,250 crore
Private sector Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited and Global Islami Bank (NRB Global) borrowed more money from Bangladesh Bank yesterday. The Central Bank has given Tk 1,250 crore as liquidity assistance to the two banks. The bank has taken this financial assistance by depositing two sukuk bonds, with a maturity of 14 days.
After the issue of loan irregularities came into discussion, the country’s Islamic banks suddenly faced a liquidity crisis. Many customers are moving their deposits in these banks to other banks. For that Bangladesh Bank has taken special initiative to lend money to these banks. For this, liquidity facilities have been introduced. This assistance will be given to Islamic banks mainly to meet daily needs.
After announcing the launch of the new facility last Monday, Bangladesh Bank has lent four thousand crore taka to five Islamic banks on Tuesday. The five banks are Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Union Bank, Social Islami Bank, First Security Islami Bank and Global Islami Bank. All five banks are owned by the same group. On Wednesday, Islami Bank and Global Islami Bank borrowed Tk 1,250 crore from Bangladesh Bank’s liquidity facility.
When asked, Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Mejbaul Haque told Prothom Alo that Islamic banks can take money as needed against Sukuk.
Under the new liquidity facility launched by Bangladesh Bank on Monday, Islamic banks have started borrowing money from the central bank by depositing Sukuk (Shariah-based investment bonds). Islamic banks can now invest in Islamic Investment Bonds and Sukuk Bonds.
Officials of Islamic banks said that currently Islamic banks do not have many bonds in hand outside of statutory deposits. They will not be able to borrow much money for this. So the officials of these banks are worried about how the situation will be handled in the future.
Islami Bank is trying to recover the loans given recently. However, as these funds are invested in various fields, they are not coming back soon. And other Islamic banks are also not getting money from these banks due to liquidity crisis.
When asked about the overall issue, Executive Director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Ahsan H. Mansoor told Prothom Alo, “The owner of six Islamic banks is one. Like Islami Bank, there have been many irregularities in other banks as well. Banks cannot be fixed by financial assistance from Bangladesh Bank without taking any punitive measures. Bangladesh Bank can take responsibility by removing the board of directors and management committee of these banks on an urgent basis. This will restore the confidence of the depositors. If this kind of assistance is given without taking measures, the owners of other banks will also encourage irregularities.
Among the 61 banks in the country, 10 are now Islamic banks. The biggest bank among them is Islami Bank. The deposit of the bank is about one and a half lakh crore. Other Islamic banks are First Security, Union, Social Islami, Global Islami, Al-Arafah, Exim, Shahjalal, Standard and ICB Islamic Bank. And among the conventional banks, 9 bank branches provide Islamic style banking services. And 13 banks have Islamic banking services in different branches.
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