FE Today Logo
Search date: 02-04-2018 Return to current date: Click here

Banks now susceptible to greed, unethical behaviour

Dr Kholiquzzaman says while delivering 17th Nurul Matin Lecture at BIBM

FE Report | April 02, 2018 00:00:00

Bangladesh's banking sector is increasingly becoming susceptible to greed and unethical behaviour induced by neo-liberalism, a top economist of the country has warned.

"The wings of neo-liberalism, prevailing in the country's banking sector, must be clipped," Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said at a public lecture in the capital on Saturday.

"Although the banks in Bangladesh have been insulated from the global financial crisis, neo-liberalism-induced greed and unethical behaviour are still rampant in the country's banking sector," Mr Ahmad observed.

His views came while speaking at the 17th Nurul Matin Lecture, organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM).

The senior economist observed that although profit-making should be a genuine goal of the banks, that goal should be pursued within an operational framework that promotes national development.

He also maintained that the banking sector in Bangladesh is currently experiencing various mistreats and malpractices, resulting in the present ballooning of non-performing loans.

"Some of the clients of the banks are so powerful that they influence and manipulate the bank officials in such a way that their project proposals cannot be denied."

To address such a scenario, Professor Ahmad, the chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, called for maintaining stronger regulatory oversight and ensuring high ethical standards among the high-ups of the banking institutions.

"The regulators need to remain more watchful than they were in the past, and early actions need to be taken. At the same time, political interference should not deter the governing bodies from making decisions."

"Projects that are submitted to the board should be viable and need to be properly evaluated. The board members should maintain the highest standard of principle and honesty."

"Investments that promote poverty reduction and maintain the highest environmental standards need to be promoted," opined Dr Ahmad, who also heads Dhaka School of Economics.

He also called for arranging workshops and training programmes on ethics in the banking sector to sensitise the officials to the ethical issues.

"Bangladesh Bank (BB) should organise annual workshops on ethics, which would be participated by representatives from all the banks."

"The banks themselves should also organise in-house trainings and workshops on ethical issues to discuss and raise awareness about ethical practices within the sector," Mr Ahmad added. BB Governor Fazle Kabir, who chaired the programme, also agreed with Professor Ahmad regarding the need for workshops and training programmes to promote strong ethical standards among the banks' governing bodies and officials.

[email protected]

Share if you like