Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman resigns over cyber heist of $80 million foreign reserve

The chief of Bangladesh’s central bank has resigned facing intense pressure over the cyber heist involving over $80 million from its account with Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Published : 15 March 2016, 06:36 AM
Updated : 15 March 2016, 06:28 PM

Governor Atiur Rahman tendered his resignation on Tuesday during a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a senior PMO official told

Speaking to reporters at his home earlier in the morning, Atiur said that he was ‘ready’ to resign if ‘the prime minister wants’.

“I am waiting to know what the prime minister says. I have no hesitation in resigning if it helps the Bangladesh Bank.

“I have already written my resignation and will step down as soon as the prime minister says,” said Atiur, who was seen with the resignation letter in his hand.

He was given the job on May 1, 2008, four months after the Awami League formed the government.

After a four-year term, the government decided to extend it by another four years that was to end on Aug 2 this year.

During Atiur’s time in the central bank, Bangladesh saw its inflation going down and forex reserve growing by more than four times to $28 billion since 2008.

His resignation comes amid a firestorm over a cyber heist which caused Bangladesh to lose more than $80 million kept with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The incident came to light when Philippine’s Daily Inquirer ran a report on Feb 29 that the country was probing a money laundering incident involving cross-border electronic funds transfer.

It said that $81 million was wire-transferred on Feb 4 from the Bangladesh Bank’s US account to accounts in local banks.

Bangladesh Bank kept the government and its board of directors in the dark about the heist for around a month.

Muhith first learnt of the matter from media reports.

He lashed out at the bank on Sunday vowing action for having ‘the audacity not to inform him about the issue’. “Very incompetent,” he described the central bank.