Abu Sazzad: Some 29 banks out of 57, have failed to offer loan at single-digit interest in November last year due to multifarious reasons including the rise of operation cost and NPL, provision shortfall and liquidity crisis.
Out of the banks, NRB Global Bank had charged the highest lending rate of 13.74 percent, followed by 12.46 percent by Modhumoti Bank, 12 percent for NRB Bank, 12.11 percent for Union Bank,12.37 percent the Farmers Bank, 12.12 percent for Midland Bank, 12.02 percent for Meghna Bank,11.89 percent for South-Bangla Agriculture Bank, 12.99 percent for NRB Commercial Bank, 12.32 percent for BRAC Bank, 10.53 percent for Jamuna Bank, 10.69 percent for Shahjalal Islami Bank, 10.18 percent for Bank Asia, 11.51 percent for First Security Islami Bank, 11.31 percent for Premier Bank, 10.45 for Mutual Trust Bank, 10.62 for EXIM Bank, 11.31 percent for One Bank, 10.54 percent for Standard Bank, 10.06 percent for Dutch-Bangla Bank, 10.66 percent for Social Islami Bank,10.53 percent for Dhaka Bank, 10.43 percent for NCCB, 10.45 percent for Eastern Bank, 10.50 percent for Simanto Bank,10.46 for IFIC Bank, 10.61 for The City Bank, 11.29 percent for AB Bank, 10.04 percent for Standard Chartered Bank, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Bank.
However, the weighted average lending rate of private commercial banks was 10.25 percent while it was 10.22 percent in October.
Top business leaders and economists have underscored the need for proving single-digit interest rate with a view to enhancing private sector growth. The single-digit lending rate would help to boost industrialisation as well as economy of the country.
Talking to the Daily Industry on Tuesday, Syed Hasnat Habib, Managing Director of NRB Global Bank Limited told that the operating cost has increased in the recent years significantly. On the other hand, NPL and provision shortfall of most the banks have forced to provide higher lending rate in November.
“We are earnestly working to reduce the lending rate to promote industrialisation of the country. I hope, the banking sector will able to provide loan on single-digit interest soon”, said Hasnat.
Talking on his bank’s average lending rate, he said, his bank’s lending rate was high in November because such loans were approved earlier. “We have taken reasonable lending rate on fresh loan disbursement including large, SME and retail. I predicted we will be able to reduce our lending rate from the beginning of the new year”, he also said.
Md. Shafiul Islam, president of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI) urged the central bank to provide loan on single-digit interest for promoting the businessmen.
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ensured one job for every family in her party’s election manifesto. I appreciate the decision of the political leader, but, it will be very difficult if the stakeholders do not receive the bank loan at single-digit interest. If the stakeholders fail to avail lower lending rate, it will difficult to expand the business as well as to create employment generation.
Considering this, the Prime Minister will undertake a realistic decision to provide loan at single-digit interest, Mohiudding predicted.
Farid Uddin Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) expected the new government will undertake a holistic measure to provide single-digit bank loan for the further advancement of country’s economy.
Ahmed urged the government to reduce the NPL to attain a sound financial sector which will help attaining the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The current lending rate is reasonable but if it exceed in the upcoming days, it will hamper the business and economy of the country, he added.
Country’s scheduled banks are gradually offering lower interest rate for all type of products to their clients as per the instruction of the central bank, which is appreciable but the single-digit loan will help operating their business smoothly, he pointed out. “Single digit interest rate will play a vital role in creating business-friendly environment across the country. It will reduce the cost of business and simultaneously, encourage entrepreneurs. It will encourage entrepreneurs to invest more. Country needs more investment to attain SDGs”, Farid Uddin also added.
However a good number of stakeholders claimed that single digit interest rate in the country is still a term only in book.
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