Bank MD says such transactions are done for the sake of ‘customer-bank relationships’
Top officials of Union Bank on Thursday claimed that the Tk19 crore which “disappeared” from the vault of its Gulshan branch in the capital was given to one of its privileged customers after banking hours.
The bank's deputy managing director (DMD) Hasan Iqbal made the statement during a press conference on the day.
He also said that although the money was given to the customer, such incidents are not new.
According to him, such transactions are done for the sake of “customer-bank relationships.”
The information about the missing amount was disclosed by a Bangladesh Bank’s inspection team that visited the bank's branch last Monday morning.
Three members of Union Bank's Gulshan branch have already been withdrawn from their duties and an investigation committee formed.
The accounts of Tk19 crore were adjusted in the presence of the inspection team of Bangladesh Bank, the DMD also added.
In this regard, Sirajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank, told Dhaka Tribune: “There was a cheque for the same amount of the money that was missing. But as the banking hours came to an end, it was adjusted the next morning. Even the officials of Bangladesh Bank were present there.”
Asked if there were any deviations from the rules, he said: "Yes, there were some deviations from the rules, as they paid after the banking hours were over.”
That specific branch did not have the permission to operate after baking hours, he added.
According to branch documents, there was Tk31 crore in the vault, but the inspection team found only Tk12 crore, said a central bank source.
The branch officials could not give an answer to the central bank’s inspection team instantly about the missing amount.
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Union Bank is one of the nine commercial banks approved in the country in 2013.
The bank was owned by the late HM Ershad and is now run by an industrial group from Chittagong.
In this regard, an official of Bangladesh Bank said to Dhaka Tribune that: “It is the responsibility of the branch manager, second officer and cash in charge to keep the money in the vault at the end and at the beginning of an everyday transaction.”
“If there is any discrepancy in the money in the vault, it is the responsibility of these officers to reconcile it. A lot of times forgetting accounts can lead to a little money mismatch. If such a big match is found, it is considered a criminal offence. Even in this case, the officer in charge was immediately handed over to the police,” sources added.