BASIC Bank Managing Director Kazi Faqurul Islam yesterday appeared before the committee formed by the central bank to recommend punishment for his alleged involvement in the bank's financial irregularities.
The personal hearing though comes five days later than the deadline of May 14 set by the committee headed by Nazneen Sultana, a deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank.
Sultana told The Daily Star that the committee has sought additional papers from Islam.
On April 18, the BB formed the committee to review the 25-page letter from Islam against the allegations and recommend punitive measures for him.
Irregularities in the bank came to the fore early last year. BB inspections found the bank approved loans of Tk 4,500 crore, mostly without proper documentation and scrutiny.
Most of the irregularities took place in four branches of BASIC Bank -- Motijheel, Shantinagar, Dilkusha and Gulshan -- that granted loans of Tk 4,424.93 crore between December 2009 and November 2012 on poor documents and inflated mortgages.
It was reported that Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, chairman of the bank, allegedly masterminded the irregularities in collaboration with Islam.
Then the BB in September last year signed a memorandum of understanding with BASIC Bank to rein in the financial irregularities in the state-run bank.
But the central bank's latest investigations still found irregularities at the bank, even as recently as January, which prompted BB to serve a notice to the bank's managing director asking why he should not be removed from his position.
Meanwhile, Islam's contract with the bank will expire on June 8. A section of central bank and BASIC Bank officials believe that the BB is delaying actions against Islam and helping him get retirement without any punishment.
“We hope we will be able to take actions against him before his contract with the bank expires next month,” said a BB committee member wishing not to be named.
Reporters caught Islam after the hearing at the BB yesterday, but he declined to comment.