Finance Minister Ama Muhith has sought explanation from Bangladesh Bank about allegations of foreign investors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL). The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) alleged that the IBBL board made the recent high-level changes in the absence and without consent of foreign shareholders. Two foreign investors including IDB hold 52% shares of the IBBL. At the board meeting January 5, former bureaucrat Arastoo Khan was elected chairman of IBBL. Changes were also brought to the posts of managing director and heads of various committees of the bank and also to chief of the Islami Bank Foundation. At present, of the 16 board of directors, seven are independent directors, seven from little known companies and two are foreign sponsors’ representatives.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) expressed dismay at the recent changes that took place at Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBBL). In a letter to Finance Minister Ama Muhith, IDB said the foreign shareholders feel that the governance of the bank has been taken away from them, although they own more than 52% of the shares, while IDB has a 7.5%. The IDB also criticised the way a board meeting at IBBL is convened. Furthermore, the IDB voiced its concern about the recent changes, about appointing the new managing director in an abrupt manner, not following the rigorous recruitment process. As a response to IDB's letter, Islami Bank said in a statement that all banking rules have been followed properly.
The Islamic banks in Bangladesh are lookinf for a Shariah-compliant money market and separate laws to govern the fast extending Islamic banking in the Muslim-majority country.
Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL), stated that at this point around 20% business of the banking industry of the country is being handled by shariah-based banks and the scope is widening at a faster pace.
Nigerian Jaiz International PLC is working to launch its banking operation by August 2011with technical support from the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL).
An agreement on technical services was signed between the IBBL and Jaiz Bank in the capital Friday in this connection.
The IBBL will make available suitable, qualified and experienced personnel required for the efficient operation of the business, develop capacity building programmes for the training and development of the workforce, design and implement appropriate procedures for all processes, transactions and products to ensure smooth operations of the proposed Nigerian bank.