Rabiul Alam : The trend of client harassment has reduced in the banking sector compared to the previous years.
The total number of complaints received by the Bangladesh Bank for the FY 2018-19 slightly decreased compared to the corresponding period of FY 2017-18.
Once, most of the complaints used to come from small clients, but big entrepreneurs now submit complaints to the Central Bank against commercial banks for harassments. Foreign banks also fetched several complaints on products export. Most complaints filed against those banks are: state owned Janata, Sonali, Agrani Bank and private sector Dutch-Bangla, BRAC, Eastern, The City Bank, Standard Bank and Al-arafah Islami Bank Limited.
According to the BB report, around 5,500 complaints were submitted to BB in FY 2018-19. Among them, a total of 442 complaints were filed against state owned Janata Bank, 322 against Sonali Bank and 193 against Agrani Bank.
Besides, a total of 278 complaints were recorded against Dutch-Bangla Bank, 184 complaints against Eastern Bank, 177 against City Bank, 154 against Standard Chartered Bank and147 against Al-arafah Islami Bank.
Sources said, Bangladesh Bank received several complaints ranging from small to large against some banks. Of them, embezzling assets worth crore of Taka from deposits, taking out excessive interests, making fraudulence loans, creating unsubstantial Cheque and misbehaving with clients were significant. A total of 57 percent complaints were recorded against privately owned banks.
On the other hand, a plenty of allegations of mismanagement were recorded in the complaint cell of respective banks, Standard Chartered Bank placed top in the category. Domestic banks under this category are- The City Bank, BRAC Bank, and United Commercial Bank. HSBC Bangladesh, Eastern Bank, Prime Bank, The Trust Bank, The Premier Bank, Janata Bank and Mercantile Bank placed in top 10 in harassing clients in banking sector.
Sources said, some foreign banks brought allegation against some domestic banks for not repaying the money after exporting products. Bangladesh Bank settled these allegations by making domestic banks mandatory to repay $53 lakh estimated to Tk 469.96 crore.
A total of 154 complaints were submitted against Standard Chartered Bank in complaint cell of BB. Besides, 7,248 complaints were received in respective cell of the bank. Along with domestic clients, some other foreign clients also complained against this bank.
Central Bank data revealed that it had received a total of 4,530 complaints in its complaint cell in Fiscal Year 2015-16 and all was settled. 3,521 complaints were submitted in FY 2016-17 and of them, 3,519 complaints were dissolved by BB. However, 6,208 complaints were recorded in FY 2017-18 increasing 76 percent from FY-2016-17.Among, 6,206 complaints were settled.
According to upgraded data of Central Bank, a total of 5,499 complaints were recorded in FY 2018-19 and 5,493 complaints are dissolved which is 99.90 percent of total received complaints. Of the complaints, 1,593 are banking related, 516 are loan releted, 546 are foreign trade related, 483 are card issues related and 313 are clients resentment related.
Replying to a query on the complaints, Md. Ataur Rahman, Managing Director of Sonali Bank, said, we usually give importance upon receiving the complaints immediately. It does not come under our guidelines what clients demand in several occasions. Several allegations were found on getting late in withdrawing money after submitting Cheque and receiving Cheque book. Allegations of harassments against officials are found as well, we usually take steps in any complaints following investigation. Sonali Bank has around 1,200 branches; complaints would create while operating activities normally.