M. Matiul Islam, Chairman IIDFC
ICON OF BANKS & FINANCIAL INSTITUTES
Mr. M. Matiul Islam, FCA
Friends and colleagues call him a “doyen of banking”. M Matiul Islam is an endearing name among his peers. He made a clear mark in the nation's financial sector and built a towering profile that dwarfs many others around him. His career that spans six decades stands out with high points of achievement. It started with the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1952. Matiul Islam, now 81, is still a taskmaster the chairman of IIDFC, a leading non-bank financial institution.
In 1972 when the shadows of the Liberation War were lingering on the economy, Matiul Islam was handpicked as the nation's first finance secretary by none other than Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He had been tasked with building a banking system, the first step to inject an impetus into the war-ravaged economy. Guided by a new government's mandate for nationalisation, he merged 12 banks into six. When many said the new country, Bangladesh that is, would not last long, he pressed on with his mission to build a strong banking system. A personal vision statement “Bangladesh will survive, if banks survive” carried him forward. Today, he does not shy away from admitting that he exerted a total control over the six banks, without appointing a chairman to any of them. Those state banks were free from political influence and performed very well, he recalls.
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