The former Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor must be lauded for taking the moral responsibility for the bank's financial mishap that led to a US$101 million heist from BB account at the New York Fed. He will be remembered for the innovative changes he had brought in the banking sector. He was known for his empathy towards the poor and brought in a large number of people within his inclusive banking policy. His innovations include the promotion of green financing, pushing the banking sector to give loans to farms and SMEs and notably the digitisation of payment system.
That being said, we feel that the problem that confronts BB at present has two aspects that should be addressed quickly.
On the technical side that the hackers were able to plant in the system a malware which overrode whatever safeguards BB had in place over SWIFT payments is one of the things that should be attended to immediately. On the post-crisis management there was, regrettably, breakdown in communication between BB and the Ministry of Finance. We find it inexplicable that it took a month for the central bank to inform the finance ministry, and had it not been for the Manila newspaper breaking the news, we might never have come to know of it at all.
While we are fully cognizant of the former governor's personal integrity, he cannot evade the responsibility for exacerbating the crisis due to the secretive manner of his handling of the issue through a small group of people that kept even the executive branch totally ignorant of such a serious matter.
A board of enquiry has been set up which we hope will identify the loopholes in the system, and we expect strong action against those, both inside and outside parties, involved in the scam.