Former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Mohammed Farashuddin has come down heavily on the “anomalous” banking sector, saying that looting continues in the sector in the name of mobile banking in absence of a proper regulatory framework.
He was addressing as the chief guest a discussion arranged by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at the Shilpakala auditorium in Dhaka, marking the national anti-graft agency’s 13th founding anniversary on Tuesday.
He said: “I express strong disapproval of the so-called mobile banking services... As the authorities went directly for technology advancement rather than form a regulatory framework, the looting is continuing in the name of mobile making.
“This is why Bangladesh Bank has already closed down several hundred thousands mobile banking accounts and revoked licences of many agents.”
Sharing his personal experience, he said: “Recently, I went to such an agent to send some money to one of my teachers in Bogra. The agent on the receiving end deducted money from the amount sent, even though I have been charged 2% on the transaction, while one has to pay only Tk0.5 per transaction through banks.”
The former governor urged the ACC to identify causes of the widespread corruption and fight it out effectively, according to UNB.
"ACC is unlikely to get the desired results by arresting thousands of lower-grade public officials...it should focus on nabbing high-ups," he said, adding that the ACC, National Board of Revenue, and Bangladesh Bank should work together to prevent corruption by forming institutional teams.
There is no alternative but to prevent corruption to ensure sustainable development in the country, he stressed.
Underscoring the need for creating a strong social movement to make people aware of the adverse effects of graft, Farashuddin urged media and civil society to play a strong role in this regard.
Terming corruption and development twin brothers, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said if the regulatory framework, including the ACC, works effectively, it will be possible to check the menace.
He said public officials, civil society and media people must work together to check corruption in the country.