Occupying IBBL: an ominous sign for banking sector
Abu Abdullah
22 Feb,2017

Like other days, I slept that night and got up by a phone call. An aggrieved voice said, “IBBL has been occupied”. The caller was unable to talk further.
This was outdated news to me. Earlier, it was presumed to happen and finally happened. Still it is stounding, pathetic. I got lots of phone call within two days mourning for this massive occupancy while none of the callers was owner of the bank.
Over couple of days, I was scrutinizing the news related to the issue. Regarding the massive occupancy, a detailed report was published in the daily Prothom Alo on January 8. The main focus of the report was ‘IBBL got rid of the control of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh’. It said this massive change has been carried out through government’s innuendo.

Newly appointed EC Chairman J. Matin said, “All employees of the bank are pro-Jamaat-e-Islami. So the recruitment policy will be changed. This will be taken into action in the next conference to be held on 11-12 January”.

This year, IBBL has scored a profit of BDT 10 crore. Receiving an award outgoing Managing Director returned from the London last month.  

These all were said in the report. Surprisingly, the reason behind the occupancy was overlooked in the report that didn’t mention any speech from the persons who were driven out from their post and positions as well.

Occupancy and extorting are not new addition to the history of Awami League. But never were the results too pleasant. They couldn’t run a single institution properly. Everybody lost jobs and finally everything got wrecked. Party men took possession of institutional property in dirt-cheap through government auction.

Meanwhile, economists put their opinion on the issue. They said, “The banks which were occupied in the past are not running well. Grameen Bank is the last example.”

Actually, what was the business of Jamaat-e-Islami with IBBL? Jamaat-e-Islami brought the theme of Islamic Banking, in fact, and wanted to mobilize the relationship between home and abroad especially with the muslim countries. The main aim was to establish Islamic Banking in the country. Now, Islamic Banking is a reality in the country. It is proved that Islamic Banking is the best banking system. This system has won people’s trust.

Now, Islami Bank can be styled as people’s bank. That is why a number of Islami Banks are running in the country. Those who always raise question about Islami Bank saying ‘what kind of bank is Islami Bank?’ mustn’t tolerate this progress. Nay that, an Islami bank naming ‘Jayej Bank’ has been established in Nigeria with the help of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. The owls never expect morning, but morning happens!

What will be the result of this occupying? The shareholders will sell their shares. In the meantime, outgoing Chairman and a shareholder sold their shares. Previously some foreign shareholders sold their shares.  The rest may have to consider that. What kind of massage would be delivered to Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a major shareholder of the bank, and other foreign financers is a matter to ponder about.

The long run result of these behaviors must be taken into account when we are aspirant for foreign investments. Those who have been immensely delighted must think that it’s not only an issue of Jamaat-e-Islami, it will be inspected in the foreign printing and electronics media too.

The officers may lose their jobs. The rest who won’t be fired will never get promotion. They will lose their confidence and esteems.  When shareholders sell their shares, general depositors will withdraw their money. Because, trusting shareholders they deposited here. When shareholders are absent, depositors won’t stay. Mass withdrawing may take place. It should also be considered that what will happen to the share market.

Islami Bank is the only bank which starts providing medical services in the low price. This can be easily assumed by noticing the patients’ serial in the hospital. Interest free loan is another great contribution of IBBL. We have to wait to see what will happen in the future.
Former directors have nothing to lose. They will remain as example for their integrity and proficiency. The officers must be remembered for their proficiency, integrity and restless efforts. Jamaat-e-Islami triumphs in their ideological struggle. They have nothing to lose. Because Islamic Banking is not only a reality, it is now a successful banking system at home and abroad.

In the last line, it can be said that today or tomorrow it will be discussed from the point of impartiality. We are waiting for that day!

Translated by Tanjim Nayemi.

[This is published as opinion of the writer. All responsibilities go to the writer. BD Chronicle won't take any responsibility for this writing.]