The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper describes the situation of bank distress which developed in Bangladesh since 1983-84. Since the key problem banks are state-owned, there has been no banking crisis, although costs to the economy have been high. Main causes of distress included preferential and directed lending, and administered interest rates. Inadequate supervision and managerial weaknesses were other contributory factors. Macroeconomic trends played a small role only. The authorities have recently taken major corrective measures. The paper calls for determination in the implementation of these measures to swiftly restore financial stability and limit the overall cost of this long-running distress situation.