Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, the chairman of Farmers Bank.

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Chairman of the Farmers Bank Limited (FBL) has been elected again aiming to restore confidence of the depositors through implementing a restructuring plan of the troubled private bank.

The board of directors of the FBL witnessed a major reshuffle again as it got a new chairman only after a short tenure of one and half month of the outgoing chairman.

It was second such reshuffle after November 27 last year, amid liquidity shortage that emerged out of ‘aggressive’ lending.

Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat has been elected new chairman of the fourth generation private commercial bank (PCB) at its board meeting in the capital on Sunday, according to sources.

He is set to replace Mohammad Masud after getting necessary approval by the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank.

Talking to the BBN, Dr. Sarafat said: “Protecting the depositors’ interest is our main task. We’ll also work to implement an internal restructuring programme.”

As part of the restructuring plan, the bank would mobilise new investment and some banks and financial institutions have initially agreed to put money in the cash-strapped bank.

Sources, however, said more than 10 financial institutions including commercial bank have already given initial consent to inject nearly BDT 11 billion in the FBL as investors.

Besides, the PCB was working on issuing subordinated bonds worth Tk 5.0 billion to enhance its capital base.

Currently, the bank is facing liquidity problem mainly due to higher credit growth than deposit, according to BB officials.

The bank’s advance-deposit ratio (ADR) has been crossed 85 per cent for several months, which goes against the central bank’s rule, they added.

The central bank of Bangladesh had earlier set the safe limit of ADR at 85 per cent for conventional banks and 90 per cent for Sharia-based Islamic banks.

Earlier on 27 November last calendar year, the board of directors of the FBL was restructured with the election of a new chairman and a vice-chairman of the bank.

Mohammad Masud and Maruf Alam were earlier elected chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the private bank.

The same day, ruling Bangladesh Awami League MP Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, also a former minister, resigned as the FBL chairman. The bank’s audit-committee chairman and director, Mahabubul Haque Chisty (Babul Chisty), also relinquished his position.

Earlier on December 19 last calendar year, the central bank of Bangladesh removed the Farmers Bank MD and CEO AKM Shameem for his alleged failure to maintain the allowable ADR limit and stick to embargo imposed by it on loan disbursement.

BBN/SSR/AD