Bangladesh Bank has once again urged commercial banks to reward their first-rate buyers with rebates on interest payment and various charges in an effort to foster a good credit culture.
The directive came at yesterday's Bankers' Committee meeting, which was attended by BB Governor Fazle Kabir and chief executives of all banks.
The banks' chief executives said they have been offering various types of rebates to good borrowers over the last several years. The rebate for 2016 will be paid by March this year, they said.
In response, the BB called for more discussions to explore the scope for increasing the benefits further.
The Bankers' Committee, comprising chief executives of all commercial banks, meets periodically to discuss various problems.
At the meeting, the central bank presents the government's priorities and the current picture of the economy.
Save for remittance, all economic indicators are 'very good', Kabir said yesterday.
Economic growth crossed the 7 percent mark last fiscal year and will most definitely be better in fiscal 2016-17. Inflation is low and the reserve level is satisfactory.
But remittance inflow in 2016 was about $2 billion less than in 2015, and is on a declining trend.
Subsequently, the BB governor told bankers to take initiatives to boost the inflow through the legal channel.
About 70 percent of the ATM machines in the country have been fitted with anti-skimming devices and PIN code shields as of now.
Kabir asked the bankers to complete the installation of the remaining 30 percent ATM machines soon.
At the meeting, Anis A Khan, chief executive officer of Mutual Trust Bank, suggested the central bank governor set up a credit bureau.
If the bureau is established a good credit culture will flourish in Bangladesh. On the basis of the ratings of the credit bureau, borrowers will be able to take various types of loans at low interest rates.
The BB governor welcomed the suggestion and said an initiative in this regard will be taken.
A Sonali Bank official said the state-run bank wants to repay the other banks the non-funded loans given to Hall-Mark Group, but he called for withdrawal of cases filed against the loans and no interest rate on them.
A total of 41 banks issued Tk 1,314 crore non-funded loans against 2,342 bills to Hall-Mark Group through Sonali Bank.
If the party does not repay the loans against the bills, the borrower's bank has to repay it to the other banks.
Following the central bank's intervention, Tk 755 crore has been taken out from Sonali Bank's accounts and paid to other banks so far. But Tk 599 crore is still outstanding.
Subsequently, Kabir advised the banks to withdraw the cases against the bills and settle the issue.