Microfinance Focus April 27, 2011: Grameen Bank founded by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus today published its response to the media coverage on the Review Committee Report submitted recently to the Finance Ministry of Bangladesh.
According to recent reports, a Bangladeshi probe had on April 25, 2011 cleared Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus of misappropriating Norwegian aid money at the microfinance bank he founded. This was announced by the country’s finance minister AMA Munith.
Munith said, “The probe has accepted that the Norwegian government’s decision was final. There is nothing to do about it. The government-appointed investigation committee also found no truth to allegations that Grameen Bank charged excessive interest rates on loans to the poor.”
Responding to the Committee Report, Grameen Bank said, “We are glad to know that the Review Committee Report submitted to the Finance Ministry by the Bangladesh Bank on 25 April, 2011 does not contain any allegations of corruption and misuse of funds by Grameen Bank (“GB”), Professor Yunus or anyone working within Grameen Bank.”
“The Grameen family is gratified that the report confirms that there was no wrong-doing with regard to NORAD funds. We were also happy to note that the report recognizes that GB’s interest rate is the lowest among microfinance organizations in Bangladesh including government run microfinance programmes. We appreciate the Committee’s conclusion that Grameen Bank and its sister organizations have had a profoundly positive impact on the socio-economic condition of Bangladesh,” said GB.
Stating its concerns on the recent reports published over Grameen Bank and Yunus, GB said, “We are deeply concerned about the false, baseless and defamatory statements published in several newspapers against Grameen Bank and Professor Muhammad Yunus on the occasion of the submission of the report and hope that action will be taken in this regard by the concerned authorities.”