Govt names new Sonali Bank Chairman

The government on Thursday appointed former Dhaka University Professor

AHM Habibur Rahman to the loan scam-hit Sonali Bank as its new


The Ministry of Finance issued a gazette to this effect on Thursday.

Prime Asia University’s School of Business Dean Rahman, also a former

DU Finance Department Professor, replaced Quazi Baharul Islam.

The government on Dec 20 picked 31 individuals to sit on the boards of

seven state-owned banks, ending weeks-long speculations.

The list includes retired civil servants, businesspersons,

researchers, academics and former activists of ruling Awami League and

its student front.

The government faced intense criticism over the roles of the Sonali

Bank’s Board of Directors and its former Chairman over the

irregularities in disbursement of the loan to little known Hall-Mark


Islam was asked to continue until further orders after the tenure of

the Bank’s Board of Director ended two months earlier, drawing harsh

criticism over political appointments to the bank.

A Bangladesh Bank report recently revealed that Hall-Mark Group and

five other dubious organisations allegedly swindled around Tk 36

billion from numerous branches of the bank between June 2010 and Mar


Hall-Mark alone took Tk 15 billion from the banks Ruposhi Bangla Hotel

branch and another Tk 11 billion from several other banks showing fake

letter of credit documents.

Anti-Corruption Commission later quizzed some of the members of its

Board of Director over their roles in the disbursement of loans.

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