Tk 500bn withdrawn by panicked customers is returning to banks: PM’s principal secretary

Ahmad Kaikaus says the customers panicked after rumours of a liquidity crisis spread

Published : 3 Dec 2022, 07:32 PM
Updated : 3 Dec 2022, 07:32 PM

Customers panicked after rumours of a liquidity crisis spread and that led them to withdraw Tk 500 billion from the banks, the prime minister’s principal secretary has said.

They have started redepositing the funds after realising their mistake, Ahmad Kaikaus said, speaking on the closing day of an annual gathering organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies or BIDS.

He lamented that educated people also heeded rumours targeted at creating panic.

“It was said that there is no money in the banks. This had a real impact. Tk 500 billion was withdrawn from the banks. Bangladesh Bank did not stop anyone. The money has started coming back after all realised [their mistake].”

On Nov 24, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina described the murmurs of a liquidity crisis in the banks as pure lies.

In a meeting with secretaries three days later, Hasina ordered officials to assess the liquidity situation of banks and report back to her.

“So many chatters are swirling around right now. [Banking and Finance Division was]  asked to inform us immediately about what the real situation is,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said after the meeting.

Earlier, Bangladesh Bank brushed aside social media posts advising people to draw their deposits from banks as “conspiratorial”.