Sonali Bank ‘writes off’ Tk 2,728cr of Hallmark, 19 other defaulters
State-owned Sonali Bank has written off Tk 2,728 crore of its top 20 defaulters, including Hallmark, due to non-recovery.
Sources said that the bank had set a target of recovering Tk 272 crore or 10 per cent of the loan cancelled this year but the latest data says the bank could not achieve even 8 per cent of the target even after eight months.
When contacted, Sonali Bank managing director Md Ataur Rahman Prodhan told UNB that the loans had been written off as per rules.
‘We’re trying to recover the loans… our teams are working in this regard. Writing off does not mean the loans won’t be repaid. It’s just keeping the loans in a separate balance sheet,’ Ataur said.
‘The Bangladesh Bank introduced a loan writing-off system in 2002 and the rule was amended in April 2019. As per the amended rule, a bank can write off its loan which is treated as bad loan for three consecutive years. The tenure was five years previously,’ says Sonali Bank.
According to the central bank, Sonali Bank has written off the highest amount of default loans of Tk 6,995 crore among the public banks.
Of the total defaulted loans of the state-owned bank, 38 per cent are with 20 defaulters, the BB data shows.
Hallmark is among the 20 defaulters which has had its Tk 1,229 crore written off out of Tk 3,000 crore.
BB sources said that Sonali Bank could not yet overcome the burden of the huge scam since not a single penny was recovered.
Hallmark’s loan scam had shaken the banking sector, casting a long-lasting burden on Sonali Bank’s investment.
Not only Hallmark, but also 18 others of the top 20 defaulters of Sonali Bank failed to repay any money as of August this year.
The other defaulters that got their default loans written off from Sonali Bank are: New Rakhi Textile Mills Limited (Tk 123 crore), Jasmi’s Vegetable Oil (Tk105.55 crore), Fair Expo (Tk 96.30 crore), Alpha Tobacco (Tk 96.3 crore), One Spinning Mills (Tk 93.90 crore), Imperial Dyeing and Hosiery (Tk 90.13 crore), Rokeya Textile Mills (Tk 82.65crore) ,Sahil Fashion (81.18 crore), Imam Traders (Tk 80.85 crore), Sumi’s Sweater (Tk76.7 crore), Riverside Leather and Footwear (Tk73.76 crore), Unity Knit (Tk 71.13 crore), Siddique Traders (Tk 69. 26 crore), KPF Textiles (Tk 68.56 crore), Moon Knitwear (Tk 67. 64 crore), AR Khan Sizing and Fabrics (Tk 66.86 crore), Jadu Spinning Mills Limited (Tk 50.34 crore), Sahil knitwear (Tk 57.68 crore) and Mask Sweater’s (Tk 48.86 crore).