Lloyds Banking Group on Thursday announced a 59-percent slump in annual net profits on huge fresh costs linked to the mis-selling of a controversial insurance product.
But its share price surged to the top of the London leaderboard, as investors welcomed a rise in underlying profits and the offer of a special dividend to shareholders.News:The Daily Star/26-Feb-2016
Bangladesh Bank has tripled the limit for international online purchases to $300 per transaction to give a boost to credit card users.
In May 2013, the BB allowed users of international credit cards for the first time to make overseas online purchases with a limit of spending $100 per transaction.
The central bank enhanced the limit in a circular yesterday and also widened the online purchasing scope to magazine and newspaper subscription.
Earlier, the scope was limited only to legitimate purchase of goods and services such as downloadable software and e-books from reputed and reliable sources abroad.
There are about eight lakh credit card users in Bangladesh.
Credit card companies and banks welcomed the move.
The use of credit cards for online payment across borders would benefit consumers immensely, said Ziaul Karim, head of brand and communications at Eastern Bank.
“The more such transactions are done through the formal channel, the better for the country,” he said.
Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of corporate affairs at Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh, the major player in the country's credit card industry, said this would definitely benefit the users and will boost ecommerce.
Online payments for such purchases are limited to the available unused annual travel quotas of the international credit card holders plus an additional amount not exceeding $1,000 annually, according to the BB notice released in May 2013.
The annual travel quota is $5,000 for Saarc countries and Myanmar and $7,000 for non-Saarc countries.News:The Daily Star/26-Feb-2016
The BB last week served notice on Syed Abdul Hamid seeking explanations from him under the Banking Companies Act for nine counts of irregularities.
The show-cause notice is a second instance of action against the managing director of a state bank.
If his clarification is not satisfactory, the central bank can remove him from the post of managing director of the state-run bank, as per the amended law of 2013.
Before the amendment, the central bank could not remove a chief executive of a state bank.
The BB served such notice for the first time on BASIC Bank's Managing Director Kazi Faqurul Islam, who was later removed.
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 board of directors of Agrani.
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 must 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.
In another instance of violation, Hamid rescheduled a Tk 42.38 crore fund for Muhib Steel & Ship Recycling Industries that was already classified as bad loan.
Once again, he went above and beyond his authority to do so and without taking the approval of the board.
Not only that, Muhib Steel was given letters of credit facility time and again, which took its total outstanding amount to Agrani to Tk 91.93 crore. The entire amount has now been classified as bad loans.
Serious irregularities were also committed by Hamid when 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.
In another move, the BB had instructed Agrani not to delegate any responsibility to its deputy managing director, Mizanur Rahman, temporarily for irregularities. The bank's board of directors directed the management to carry out the regulator's instruction.
Yet, Rahman was given the charge of different divisions including the recovery division -- a clear violation of the BB directive and the decision of the board, according to the central bank letter.
An official of the BB said the central bank inspections also found irregularities in loans given to Agrani's many other clients, including Zaynab Trading of Chittagong.News:The Daily Star/26-Feb-2016
An innovation-led growth needs to be focused for sustainable and equitable development, which is now the order of the day, former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed said yesterday.
“The consumer-driven growth does not reduce inequality. We need to pay attention to the innovation-led growth for sustainability and equality,” he said. Salehuddin was speaking at a book launching ceremony in the city.
Mamunur Rashid, is the author of the book titled Expansion of Middleclass and Rise of Consumerism. The book contains several articles on different economic-related issues published on different dailies.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies Research Director Dr Binayak Sen said domestic consumer is the driving force for the economy which is good.
But knowledge-based society instead of consumer-based society should be built for encouraging humanity among people, he added.
“Now, we are walking back as some book shops turn tailoring shops.”
Giving opposite view to an article of the book, former finance adviser to the caretaker government Dr AB Mirza Azizul said widening tax rather than raising tax rate is important for increased tax collection and reducing corporate tax for the listed firms attract good companies to list.
About an article, the prime minister’s economic advisor Dr Mashiur Rahman said banks fail to pay attention to the result of their investments.
He said they are engaged in disbursing credit in import and export businesses, which bring returns quickly.
Loan restructuring and write-off policies were taken under the influence of influential people, he said.
Planning Commission member Professor Dr Shamsul Alam said the rise of consumers increases demand, which brings pace in economic growth.
Mamunur Rashid said: “I am trying to present different issues in a limited scale for bringing those into the discussion.”News:Dhaka Tribune/25-Feb-2016
The decision came at a board meeting held at the Bangladesh Bank headquarters in the city yesterday. The meeting was presided over by the central bank governor Atiur Rahman.
“We have waived the penalty as High Court asked the central bank to consider their application,” said SK Sur Chowdhury, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank.
Moreover, the bank has fulfilled the instructions of Bangladesh Bank, he said.
The bank has recently sent a letter of apology to the central bank, stating that it has in line with the BB’s instruction corrected the loan amount of over Tk38crore disbursed to six institutions.
Earlier, the bank marked the amount as investment, violating rules. As the bank complied with the instruction of Bangladesh Bank, the bank should be freed from the penalty, reads the letter.
The BB has decided to place the Farmers Bank’s appeal before its board meeting.
Earlier on January 11, the bank filed a writ with the High Court against the penalty imposed by the central bank, which drew a huge criticism from every corner.News:Dhaka Tribune/25-Feb-2016