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Dhaka Tribune

BB foils AnonTex Group’s plan to take Janata for a ride

The rogue lender wanted to reschedule default loans on easy terms

Update : 27 Jan 2021, 01:17 AM

There is nothing more reassuring than watching institutions do their jobs for which they were set up in the first place. 

Take the case of AnonTex Group, a garment manufacturer that has indulged in loan irregularities and money laundering. 

The company wanted to reschedule its defaulted loans amounting Tk 3,742 crore under easy terms and its bank, the state-run Janata, was also on board with the plan, but the Bangladesh Bank yesterday put a stop to it.

The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, the banking inspection department, the foreign exchange inspection department, and the financial integrity & customer services department of the BB were all against allowing AnonTex to reschedule its default loans by paying just 2 per cent down payment, in contrast to the 10 per cent to 50 per cent as per rules.

Besides, the central bank in 2018 had directed Janata to take action against AnonTex. But that never happened.

Subsequently, the banking regulation and policy department of the BB yesterday sent a letter to Janata informing the decision.

AnonTex’s loan irregularities and money laundering were the reasons the central bank took the tough stance, said a high official of the BB seeking anonymity as it is a sensitive issue. 

Between 2010 and 2015, 22 companies of AnonTex Group were given about Tk3,527.9 crore in loans by Janata Bank, which is more than 25 percent of the lender’s capital base and in violation of the single borrower exposure limit set in the Bank Company Act 1991.

As of September last year, the total loans held by the group stand at Tk6,528.6 crore.Of the sum, Tk2,800 crore were default loans that were rescheduled in 2019 through rescheduling. 

Now, the 16-year-old garment manufacturer wanted to regularise the rest of the sum.

Md Younus Badal, managing director of AnonTex Group, declined to give any comment for the report.

Experts and bankers welcomed the central bank initiative. They said that this kind of active role of the regulatory body will help to bring discipline in the banking sector. 

“We have made the decision after discussing with all the members of the board,” said SM Mahfuzur Rahman, chairman of Janata.

“If you want to know the details about the issue, contact with the managing director,” he added. 

The correspondent tried to reach Md Abdus Salam Azad, managing director of Janata Bank, but he did not respond.

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