Bangladesh Bank has appointed an independent chairman to the century-old Jubilee Bank in line with a High Court verdict of December last year in an effort to bring an end to dissension between two groups of shareholders.
An office order was issued on August 30 and the appointment letter was received by Md Shah Alam, currently serving as executive director of the central bank's Sylhet office.
“I will join the head office on Sunday and conduct my responsibility in line with the High Court's instruction,” Alam told The Daily Star yesterday.
A BB official believes it is the first such post and appointment by the central bank for both scheduled and non-scheduled banks. The conflict to control the board of directors dates back to 2009, since when no annual general meeting (AGM) has been held, and has led to court cases.
The groups submitted two lists of names to the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC) in 2012 and 2014, each declaring theirs were the genuine shareholders. The central bank is yet to identify the actual shareholders. The High Court asked the RJSC to provide the lists to the independent chairman so that he could then organise the pending AGMs within 60 days.
The independent chairman is to submit the meetings' decisions to the High Court within eight weeks of the last AGM.
Jubilee Bank opened as Khoksha-Janipur Bank Ltd in April 1913; Bangladesh has four other non-scheduled banks with operations on a limited scale.
It was converted into Khoksha-Janipur Loan Company in 1964 in line with Banking Companies Ordinance 1962 which had barred its banking business for limitations. Bangladesh Bank recognised it as a non-scheduled bank in June 1984.
Based in Kushtia and with one branch, the bank has movable and immovable assets worth around Tk 4 crore alongside paid-up capital of Tk 1 crore and equity of Tk 1.80 crore. The bank can disburse loans mortgaging gold. It can also lend without mortgage, a maximum Tk 25,000 to a single client.