Governor urges public to report high bank interest charges

A businessman, standing while holding a briefcase, looks up at a chart on a wall that indicates interest rates are rising.

Kathmadu: Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has encouraged individuals to report instances of excessive interest charges by banks to the general public.

Speaking at the 27th anniversary of the Society of Economic Journalists Nepal (SEJON), Governor Adhikari assured that the NRB would investigate and refund any excess amount if industrialists file complaints about banks violating interest rate regulations.

Governor Adhikari emphasized the importance of registering complaints with the NRB rather than resorting to public grievances about inflated interest rates.

He disclosed that in the previous year, the NRB had already refunded Rs 4.76 billion to businessmen in response to excessive premium charges. He specifically cautioned against making baseless claims that banks were charging interest rates of 16 to 18 percent.

According to Governor Adhikari, major businessmen typically paid interest rates ranging from 6 to 8 percent on their bank loans. He contested the idea of blaming the state and the central bank for loan-related issues, asserting that personal problems arose for businessmen when they borrowed without aligning their loans with their business plans.

He stressed that the country’s economy faced structural challenges and called for serious contemplation on reducing dependence on remittances.

Governor Adhikari highlighted the government and NRB’s commitment to boosting domestic production, claiming that policy measures outlined in the budget and monetary policies were in line with this goal.

Despite acknowledging the economic slowdown and resulting issues like bad loans for banks, he reassured that Nepal’s banking sector remained stable, with the net Non-Performing Assets (NPA) of banks staying below 1.5 percent.

Furthermore, Governor Adhikari drew attention to the robust state of Nepal’s external sector, noting its historical strength and the capacity to import goods and services for 10.3 months.