Mercantile Bank Csr
BB foils bid to embezzle Tk 2cr by ex-chair
Bangladesh Bank has foiled a bid of former Mercantile Bank chairman M Amanullah, now a director of the bank, to ‘embezzle’ around Tk 2 crore from the bank’s corporate social responsibility fund by giving ‘false declaration’ of building a charitable hospital, said BB officials.
The BB in an investigation in August found that the Mercantile Bank’s board of directors, led by the then chairman Amanullah, on March 20 approved disbursement of Tk 1,99,60,000 from the bank’s CSR fund to Aman Group Foundation to build a charitable kidney dialysis hospital at Keraniganj in Dhaka.
Amanullah is the chairman of Aman Group Foundation (AGF).
The central bank on September 16 asked Mercantile Bank to recover the money from AGF by September 30 after it found that the bank had already disbursed the CSR fund to AGF although there was no existence of any structure of the said hospital,
Mercantile Bank additional managing director Monindra Kumar Nath told New Age on Tuesday that his bank had already took back the CSR fund from AGF in line with the central bank’s direction.
‘The bank will inform the BB about its measure in the shortest possible time,’ he said.
A BB official, however, told New Age on Tuesday evening that they were yet to receive any letter from Mercantile Bank about recovering the money although it had been asked to inform BB about the recovery by Tuesday.
Amanuallh on Tuesday said that he had no intention of embezzling the money taken from the Mercantile Bank and that some ‘procedural errors’ took place in taking the fund.
He said that AGF had already refunded the money to the Mercantile Bank but he would try to get the money again by following proper rules.
He said, ‘Aman Group Foundation received the fund as donation, not CSR fund from the bank, for building the hospital,’
BB probe report said, ‘Tk 2 crore was leaked out from the Mercantile Bank by ‘false declaration’ of building the hospital and by misusing the power of the then chairman and present director Amanullah although there was no land of AGF.’
Besides, Mercantile Bank approved the CSR fund to AGF without verifying whether the foundation has any trade licence for the hospital, approval copy of the health ministry and no-objection certificate of the Department of Environment.
The report claimed that Amanullah had influenced the bank to disburse the money for ‘financial benefits’ as well as for ‘personal glory’.
Between January and June in 2014, the bank disbursed a total of Tk 4.61 crore from its CSR fund, of which 43 per cent, or around Tk 2 crore, was given to AGF, said the BB report.
After the BB investigation team found there was no land for building the hospital, Amanuallah donated a piece of land to AGF for building the hospital, said BB officials.
According to the central bank report, the banks can disburse the CSR fund to civil society organisations, NGOs and institutions involved in health to build a hospital.
AGF had no activities in health sector.
The BB asked the Mercantile Bank board, where Amanullah is one of the directors, to take punitive measure against the officials who were involved in disbursing the fund.
-With New Age input