Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has asked the state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) to intensify the drive for recovering default loans, particularly from their top 20 defaulters.

The fresh instruction came at a review meeting of the SCBs held at the central bank on Monday with Bangladesh Bank Governor Salehuddin Ahmed in the chair.

The BB issued such directive against the backdrop of rising trend in non-performing loans (NPL) of four SCBs – Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali until June last.

“We’ve asked the SCBs to take effective measures to reduce their NPLs immediately,” a BB senior official told BBN after the meeting, adding that performance of the SCBs was not up to the mark in terms of recovering default loans.

He also said the central bank also asked the SCBs to enhance competitiveness through improving the quality of their services.

The overall default loans of the SCBs increased by 1.87 per cent in June 2008 despite strict monitoring and execution of tougher laws against delinquent borrowers.

The total amount of default loans with four SCBs climbed to Tk 152.89 billion in June this year against the total outstanding loans of Tk 461.42 billion. The NPLs stood at Tk 142.12 billion in March last, according to the central bank statistics.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-04November08-10:51 AM (BST)