The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has asked Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury to vacate the post of chairman of One Bank, saying he is no longer eligible to hold the position because he has violated the rules of being a director.
Md Serajul Islam, spokesperson and executive director of the central bank, told The Business Standard on Monday that BB has written to the chairman of One Bank over the issue of his removal.
Chowdhury denied the charges and said, "I have not violated any rules, though I have received a letter from the central bank this (Monday) morning, saying that I am not eligible for the post of director anymore."
He said before the last amendment to the bank company act in 2018, a director could continue for two consecutive terms for six years.
"But we served as directors for two years. And no one has been on the board for more than six consecutive years. However, the Bangladesh Bank had said that after being a director for six consecutive years, one can become a director again with a break of three years," Chowdhury told The Business Standard.
But the law says that one can be a director for a maximum of three years at a time, and for two consecutive terms. After that one can become a director again for another term following an interval of three years.
"However, since we would have been directors for two years and wanted to stay for three terms for six years in total, the Bangladesh Bank raised objections," he added.
"We later filed a writ petition at court and also received a stay order from the court to continue as director."
Later, the law was changed. Now a director can be on the board of directors of a bank for nine consecutive years for three terms, he said, adding, "So, I think there is no problem in continuing in this bank as a director."
"The Bangladesh Bank has sent me a letter to relieve me from the post of director. Now I will give a reply to that letter from my position. I think it is a personal vendetta," he added.
The removal of Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury, brother of Awami League leader Saber Hossain Chowdhury, has been applicable from October 15, 2019, the day he appealed to the High Court seeking a stay order for not being removed from the board.
Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury, who is also the chairman and chief executive officer of HRC group, had a default loan which had been rescheduled last year under the relaxed policy that the central bank announced on May 16, 2019.
HRC Shipping Lines, a subsidiary of the HRC group, had received a loan from Standard Bank for operating its business. But the loan became defaulted and the amount of default loan stood at Tk121.43 crore.
Chowdhury said he has already rescheduled the loan, and he does not have any default loan now.