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Bangladesh's Farmers Bank to undergo name change after bailout

Bangladesh's Farmers Bank Ltd. will be renamed Padma Bank as part of efforts to improve its image following the uncovering of financial irregularities and loan scams at the lender, The Daily Star reported Dec. 24, citing chairman Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat.

Bangladesh Bank approved the name change proposal, according to an assessment paper by the central bank.

Four state-owned banks and Investment Corp. of Bangladesh bailed out Farmers Bank by agreeing in May to infuse 7.15 billion taka of capital. The move followed an order in November 2017 by Bangladesh Bank for the chairman and managing director at the time to step down over their alleged involvement in fraudulent financial schemes, including the disbursement of loans to shell companies. Farmers Bank faced a liquidity crunch after the alleged fraud was made public.

The lender has recovered 6 billion taka of defaulted loans since the bailout, Sarafat said, though it still has 30.71 billion taka of loans in default as of Sept. 30, up from 7.23 billion taka as of 2017-end.

As of Dec. 21, 83.68 Bangladeshi taka was equivalent to US$1.