Microcredit Pioneer in Grameen Bank Survival Battle

Monday, March 28, 2011

It is not the usual routine for Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace laureate and a pioneer of microcredit.

Instead of travelling the world advising governments on microcredit, Mr Yunus has been confined to his native Bangladesh fighting court battles.

Mr Yunus founded the microcredit Grameen Bank in 1983.

He now finds himself in the uncomfortable situation of fighting to save his job.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh’s Supreme Court is set to reopen its appeal hearing into Mr Yunus’s dismissal from Grameen Bank.

’Function smoothly’

During the course of an interview with the BBC, Mr Yunus, appeared disappointed and a bit perplexed about the recent turn of events.

The 70-year-old economist cautiously avoided talking about the decision of Bangladesh’s central bank to force him out of Grameen saying the matter was before the court.

“The important thing for Grameen Bank right now is transition so that the bank continues to function smoothly without any kind of shock or uncomfortable feeling about it,” said Mr Yunus.

Mr Yunus was sacked in March this year by the authorities who said he was well past the mandatory retirement age.

They also said he was reappointed about 10 years ago as the managing director of Grameen without the approval of the central bank.

Mr Yunus argued that Grameen Bank had been given special status and it was exempt from the rule.

Bangladesh’s High Court has upheld the central bank’s decision to remove him from his post. Mr Yunus has now appealed to the Supreme Court.

Source: BBC News (link opens in a new window)