Defaulters can now apply for fresh loans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:28 AM, November 18, 2019

Defaulters can now apply for fresh loans

Need to make 15pc down payment

Defaulters eligible for easy rescheduling facility will also be allowed to take out fresh loans by providing a down payment of 15 percent of their outstanding loans -- a development that has drawn the ire of different quarters.

The development comes after the central bank yesterday issued a notice in line with a verdict given by the High Court on November 4.

Prior to that, the central bank asked banks on September 3 to suspend fresh loan disbursement to defaulters following another High Court order.

As per the relaxed central bank policy issued on May 16, defaulters will be allowed to reschedule their classified loans by making a down payment of only 2 percent instead of the existing 10-50 percent.

A maximum 9 percent interest will be charged on the rescheduled loans while the existing interest rate is 12-16 percent.

Besides, the tenure for repayment is 10 years with a grace period of one year.

As per the latest central bank notice, banks will have to adjust the 15 percent down payment with their outstanding loans.

This means defaulters who enjoy the relaxed facility will have to give down payments twice.

The High Court and the central bank gave the instruction in accordance with the master notice on loan rescheduling issued in 2012 by the Bangladesh Bank.

The central bank also extended the easy rescheduling facility for another 90 days since yesterday.

The relaxed facility has drawn huge criticism from different corners as they think that it will bring no good for the banking sector.

Rather, this will heighten indiscipline in the banking sector as the policy will encourage habitual defaulters.

A number of senior bankers wishing not to named yesterday told The Daily Star that they have adopted a cautious policy on the issue.

Banks have already received plenty of applications to reschedule default loans under the relaxed policy, they said.

But, there will be little chance to extend fresh credit facility to the habitual defaulters, they said.

Good clients, however, will be considered for fresh loans, according to them.

Banks went on a loan rescheduling spree in the first half of this year to arrest default loans, according to data from the central bank.

Between the months of January and June loans amounting to Tk 21,308 crore were rescheduled, which is almost thrice the amount rescheduled a year earlier. Loans amounting to Tk 7,338 crore were rescheduled in the first half of 2018.

Banks failed to bring down delinquent loans in the period: default loans in the banking sector stood at Tk 112,425 crore, up 19.71 percent from six months earlier.  

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