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National Bank director defaults on AB Bank loan

Rick Haque Sikder, a director of National Bank Ltd (NBL) and chairman of R&R Aviation Ltd, has defaulted on repayments of a loan with AB Bank Ltd, which might cost him the directorship if dues are not cleared in two months.

A senior official of the central bank, seeking anonymity, said that R&R Aviation has defaulted on its installment payment to AB Bank. So, Rick, as the chairman of the company, may lose his directorship at NBL.

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He holds the post at NBL as a nominated director of R&R Aviation.

On September 21, the Bangladesh Bank sent a letter to Rick asking him to clear dues within two months. Otherwise, his directorship will be vacant as per the Bank Company Act.

The central bank also asked Rick to submit an explanation, if he has any, within 30 days after receiving the letter.

Anwar Ehtesham, head of the public relations department of NBL, told The Daily Star that this was the personal issue of Rick Haque Sikder, so National Bank had nothing to comment on.

This is not the first time Rick is set to lose his directorship at the private commercial bank.

He lost the post in 2021 due to his defaulter status.

At that time, the central bank refused to extend his directorship because of not having a clearance from the Credit Information Bureau.

After the death of NBL Chairman Zainul Haque Sikder, his wife Monowara Sikder became the new chairman of the bank.

Their daughter Parveen Haque Sikder and two sons Rick and Ron Haque Sikder were on the bank's board before the demise of the founder.

Currently, the bank is facing significant losses and high non-performing loans (NPLs).

NBL suffered losses of more than Tk 3,200 crore in 2022 due to loan irregularities.

At the end of June this year, its NPLs stood at Tk 9,391.72 crore, which accounted for 22.14 percent of its loans disbursed, BB figures showed.