BB eases loan classification rules
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday eased its loan classification policy for all borrowers following demand from the country's top trade bodies, including the FBCCI.
As per new decisions, a borrower will not be considered defaulters if they pay 15 per cent of the total instalment of loans payable in 2021 instead of the previous 25 per cent.
The decision came following a meeting between the central bank high-ups and the leaders of the trade bodies led by Md Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
BB Governor Fazle Kabir was present at the meeting, which took place at the central bank headquarters.
On December 27, the central bank relaxed the rules for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), allowing them to pay 15 per cent of their total installments payable this year.
But the BB yesterday said that all borrowers, including the large ones, were now be able to enjoy the facility like the clients of the SME sector.
Md Serajul Islam, a spokesperson and an executive director of the BB, said that the relaxed policy would be applicable only for this year.
"The relaxation will not be extended anymore," he said.
A BB official said that the central bank would allow banks to accept the instalments from borrowers in the next 7-8 days. A post facto approval will be given to adjust the instalments.
The FBCCI, the country's apex trade body, has recently called for an extension of the relaxed policy until June next year as the pandemic persists.
As per the proposals, borrowers, who have taken loans of up to Tk 10 crore from banks, should be treated as non-defaulters in spite of their inability to pay any instalment.
Clients, whose outstanding loans ranged from Tk 10 crore to Tk 500 crore, should be considered non-defaulters if they can give only 2 per cent of their payable instalments within the period.
Those with loans of more than Tk 500 crore should be allowed to avoid the default zone if they can pay 1 per cent of their payable instalments, according to the FBCCI.
FBCCI President Jashim Uddin said that the trade bodies had raised the issue given the ongoing situation. The central bank had considered it and relaxed the rules slightly.
The trade bodies also sought the default loans rescheduling facility by giving 2 per cent down payment.
"The central bank has assured us of taking the issue with due importance," Uddin said.
Leaders from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry were present.