BB nod a must for banks in land purchase
Bangladesh Bank has directed all banks that they must take prior permission from it for purchasing land, floor space or any other permanent structure.
Permission from the central bank is a must also in case of such purchases now under process, said a circular issued by it yesterday.
BB sources said 15 private banks out of the 30 purchased land worth about Tk 800 crore in last two years for profit-making in violation of the Bank Company Act.
The circular mentioned that some banks have been selling and purchasing land or permanent structures without any logical ground or necessity which is a violation of the Act.
Earlier the central bank had sent letters to all banks asking them to inform it how much land or permanent structures, where and at what price they purchased or they are in the process of purchase.
It issued the directive after reviewing the information received.
A BB official said of the 15 banks which went for land purchase, some bought land worth about Tk 100 crore and most others between Tk 50 crore and Tk 60 crore.
Most of these lands are in city areas like Badda or on its outskirts including Keraniganj and Gazipur.
The official pointed out that a bank could purchase land for setting up its head office or branch offices. But the locations they mentioned are not suitable for these. So, it is assumed that the lands have been bought to make profit through sale of those.
Another BB official said as these banks purchased lands their price in the areas concerned went up in last few years.
The central bank has also received allegations of corruption in the purchase of lands by banks. In many cases owners are selling low quality lands or lands with legal complications to banks at higher prices.
A section of officials of these banks are also allegedly purchasing such lands for personal gains.