Jamaluddin replaced with Mahfuzur as chairman of troubled Janata Bank

  • Abdur Rahim Harmachi, Chief Economics Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-07-29 02:24:34 BdST

The government has removed Jamaluddin Ahmed as chairman of Janata Bank and appointed SM Mahfuzur Rahman for three years as his replacement.

The Financial Institutions Division announced the sudden change on Tuesday citing “public interest”.

The appointment of the new chairman comes amid a series of loan scams that roiled the state-owned bank.

The government has changed the chairman of the bank several times in the past few years but there has been no significant improvement in the bank’s financial strength.

Jamaluddin, an accountant by training and general secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association, was assigned as the chairman of the bank in August 2019 for three years. But his removal just in 11 months came as a surprise as all the chairmen before him completed their terms.

Jamaluddin had left the directorship of a company following criticism for seeking a loan from the bank for a power project. The bank’s employees privately accused him of developing close relations with some customers beyond the banking norms.

A finance ministry official, requesting anonymity, said: “Jamaluddin had to step aside because he did not follow instructions from an influential business group.”

Jamaluddin did not respond to bdnews24.com’s request for comment.

He had been a director at Bangladesh Bank before being picked for the Janata Bank job.

Mahfuzur, a former professor at Dhaka University’s international business department, is the vice-chancellor of BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology.

Now he has the unenviable task of heaving up the sinking bank with default loans hitting Tk 141.17 billion by the end of March. The amount is 27 percent of the total loans disbursed by the bank -- the highest bad debt among the four government commercial banks.

Mahfuzur was the chairman of the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh from 2011 to 2014.