2020-02-23 18:56:18 BdST

Foreign trip: Central bankers taking undue favour from private banks


A practice has appeared among high-ups of the Bangladesh Bank, where they are taking foreign tours which are paid for by private commercial banks, raising questions on ethical grounds.

For instance, Ahmed Jamal, deputy governor of the central bank, recently visited Kenya and Tanzania to attend an event organised by a private commercial bank.

All expenses of that tour was borne by the organising bank.

Executive Director Abu Farah Md Nasser also joined the event with two other central bank officers – expenses for whom were also paid by the private bank.

"There is no legal barrier, but there is an issue of ethics," Economist Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled said.

He said that during such tours, officials of the organising private bank may try to get close to the central bank officials and attempt to avail favours from them.

Under the condition of anonymity, few Bangladesh Bank officials said that if senior officials are getting this kind of favours, junior officers will also be encouraged. They might try to motivate private banks to arrange more tours where they are invited.

According to a staff order of the Bangladesh Bank, issued on January 8, all four officials attended that international event in Kenya and Tanzania from January 20-24 this year.

The International Finance Corporation and the City Bank – a local private bank – jointly organised the event titled "To Start up the Digital Nano Loans for the Customers of Mobile Financial Services."

Recently, Ahmed Jamal was involved in another controversy, following which he was relieved of his duties as the deputy governor of the Human Resource Department.

On Wednesday, more than 200 officials of the Bangladesh Bank demonstrated against Jamal, claiming that he had misbehaved with leaders of two representative bodies of the central bank employees.

The Bangladesh Bank Officers' Welfare Council, Dhaka and the Bangladesh Bank Officers Association said the protest was in response to Deputy Governor Jamal removing employees from his office when they approached him with their demands, which included expanding the ceiling for home loans, improving the state of the staff busses, establishing a canteen, and improving the quality of day-care centres in the central bank building.

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