By M J Hayat
LAHORE: The present auditors of Bank of Punjab (BoP) have failed to
uphold and safeguard the interests of the minority shareholders. There
should be a forensic audit of the bank by a third party adjudicator
comprising people of honesty and integrity, not like the present
auditors of the bank who have compromised their professional
These views were expressed by Dr Babur Zahiruddin, a renowned
financial analyst while exclusively giving his analysis to Daily The
Business here the other day.
He said that the expectations that Bank of Punjab will post Rs 6.3
billion after tax profit in 2018 are based on orchestration and figure
fudging to satisfy the vested interests better known to the management
of the BoP and the CFO compiling the bank financial reports for the
While expecting the Rs 6.3 billion profit after taxation the letter
of comfort which was given by the government of Punjab to Security
Exchange of Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and State Bank of Pakistan
(SBP) in which the government of Punjab has taken the onus of the
responsibility to bail out BoP in case of its, must be borne in mind,
the analysts said.
“In the background of this LoC BoP stands on a very weak wicket as
the accumulated losses have been taken under the headings of NPLs
against which heavy provisions have been made,” he said adding that
this has eroded the profitability of the bank where the legacy of
accumulated NPLs will haunt them like a skeleton in the closet”.
The question now arises what happened to the infected portfolios and
the burgeoning effect of the NPLs, Babur said, saying, “If we leave
these things asides come on the operational performance of the bank
even a layman will see through the balance sheet that whatever good
performance has come from reversals and realisation of bad debts to
some extents,”. What is the operational profit of the bank?
On the opex (operational expenditures) and capex (capital
expenditure) the pay of the president Naeemuddin Khan has been given
boost of nearly 34 percent whereas his performance is just below par,
the huge losses worth Rs 3.32 billion are testimony of the fact while
balance sheet in the last nine year is also depicting losses only, Dr
Babur stated. This is due to unreasonable high administrative
expenditures Rs 10.08 billion which is 20 percent additional as
compared to last CY year 2016 and the provision against the non
performing loans of Rs 14.13 billion. The banks earning per share
drops to Rs (1.62) during the year under review against the same
period of last year 2016.
Naeemuddin Khan is only clinging to the seat because of his good
diplomatic relationships with the kitchen house hold of Shahbaz
Sharif, he said, adding, “If Naeemuddin had leadership qualities he
would have given the same rise of 34 percent to all his staff members
ranging from OG-III to SEVP.”
While talking about the hierarchy of the bank, he said that there are
serious performance flaws like dichotomy in the chain of command,
internecine, acrimonious, pernicious rivalry amongst various group
heads who are treating their work domain as fiefdoms.
There is a great tendency of hiring new Executives on Perchi system
(Sifarish) and giving them huge salaries and lucrative perks which
will further erode the profitability of the bank.
The share value of BoP may even fall below Rs. 6 after June 2018 in
case the new Government of Punjab withdraws the letter of comfort and
then the bank will either be liquidated / sold or there will be
The morale of the employees of BoP is at its lowest ebb and the middle
cadre management is running from pillar to post with CVs in their
hands looking for better opportunities, he disclosed.
The only way out for BoP to survive and to keep its head above water
is by keeping the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) up to 16 percent
putting in equity injection so that the bank is able lend with
prudence, he suggested, adding that it is high time that the President
and his band of merry men should be shown the door and succeeded by
energetic young and competent leadership.
“The term of government of Shahbaz Sharif has ended on 31st of May
2018 and the pivot (SIFARISH) behind Naeemuddin is no longer there
hence the sword of Damocles hangs on his head as well as the letter of
comfort may no longer be there by the new Government of Punjab to bail
the bank out of its jeopardy,” he said.
It will be prudent and wise for Naeemuddin Khan to make a ceremonious
exit rather than to go in disgrace like those presidents who were
kicked out of the bank like Majeed Ullah Hussaini of AKBL, he
The present auditors have also failed to uphold and safeguard the
interests of minority shareholders. It is like the brushing the dust
under the carpet. There should be a forensic audit of the bank by a
third party adjudicator comprising of people of honesty and integrity,
not like the present auditors of the bank who have compromised there
professional integrity, the expert financial analysts concluded.