|Governor of Bangladesh Bank|
1 May 2009 – 15 March 2016
|Preceded by||Salahuddin Ahmed|
|Succeeded by||Fazle Kabir|
|Born||3 August 1951|
Jamalpur, East Bengal, Dominion of Pakistan
|Alma mater||University of Dhaka|
SOAS, University of London
|Awards||Bangla Academy Literary Award (2016)|
Atiur Rahman (Bengali: আতিউর রহমান;born 3 August 1951) is a Bangladeshi development economist, writer and banker. He served as the 10th Governor of Bangladesh Bank, which is the central bank of Bangladesh. He has also been called "the banker of the poor" for his contributions in developing the economy of Bangladesh. Atiur Rahman is credited for instituting changes in the banking industry of Bangladesh that greatly increased the foreign exchange reserves of the country and brought massive automation and digitization in the banking sector of Bangladesh. Achievements during his tenure include the creation of the National Payment Switch of Bangladesh; introducing automated check clearing for banks in Bangladesh using local currency cheques; starting mobile banking, which lets people carry out banking transactions via SMS (text messages) or apps; establishing the Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network (BEFTN), which is a system of transferring money from one bank account directly to another bank without paper money ever changing hands; and installing the Bangladesh Automated Clearing House (BACH), which permits rapid electronic inter-bank transfers within the country with automatic adjustment of accounts.[failed verification] On 15 March 2016, he resigned as the governor of the central bank after the cyber hacking and theft of US$101 million in foreign reserves from the Bangladesh Bank account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Early life and education
Atiur Rahman was born in a village in Jamalpur district in 13 December 1953. His father, who was a landless farmer, had received no schooling in his life. Rahman went to school but had to quit after grade III because of financial conditions.
He was able to resume his education shortly after, taking the final examination for grade VI. After grade VI, his principal showed him the Cadet Colleges' admission circular, for his better education. But Atiur Rahman did not want to. Eventually, he was admitted to Mirzapur Cadet College in grade-VII. A school teacher of the village, Foyez Moulavi, collected charity funds to facilitate his admission. Considering his financial inability, the college authority granted him free tuition. Thus he could continue at the college, where he passed the SSC and HSC examinations, securing positions in the merit list both times.
He earned BSS and MSS degrees in economics from the University of Dhaka. With a Commonwealth scholarship, he went to SOAS, University of London to complete his Ph.D. in 1977. His thesis later came out as a book under the title Peasants and Classes published by the Oxford University Press.
Rahman was a planning officer in the Bangladesh Tourism Corporation in 1975. In 1994, he established a development NGO under the title 'Unnayan Shamannay'. He had worked at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in different capacities for nearly 28 years and retired as Senior Research Fellow on 4 April 2006. He also served as director of the state-owned Sonali Bank, the largest in Bangladesh.
In 2001, government appointed him as the chairman of the board of directors of the Janata Bank, the second-largest in the country. In 2006, he joined the University of Dhaka in the Department of Development Studies as a professor. Also, he served in Mohammed Yunus' National Task Force on Poverty Eradication. He was also involved in the management of a number of socio-cultural organisations including Credit Development Forum, Monajatuddin Smriti Sangsad, Bangladesh Economic Association and Asiatic Society and Bangla Academy. Rahman focused his work in the area of poverty alleviation, engaging in first-hand research to find the causes of poverty and means of remedy. He worked specifically with shoal dwellers and poverty alleviation. On 29 April 2009, Rahman was appointed as the 10th governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country, for a tenure of four years. He assumed the title on 3 May 2009 and was reappointed until July 2016. After his tenure as a governor, he joined again the Department of Development Studies. The Dhaka University Syndicate appointed him as a 'Bangabandhu Chair' from 1 November 2019. Also, he is serving as a Chairperson of Unnayan Shamannay.
Governor of the central bank
As governor of the Central Bank of Bangladesh, he took steps in developing the economy of his country by instituting programs such as women entrepreneurs loans, a loan for landless farmers and special programs around Green Finance. Rahman worked to bring automation and digitization into the banking sector of Bangladesh by creating the National Payment Switch of Bangladesh; introducing automated check clearing for banks in Bangladesh using local currency cheques; starting mobile banking, which lets people carry out banking transactions via SMS (text messages) or apps; establishing the Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network (BEFTN); instituting the Bangladesh Automated Clearing House (BACH), which permits rapid electronic inter-bank transfers within the country with automatic adjustment of accounts; etc. BEFTN is a system of transferring money from one bank account directly to another bank without paper money changing hands. The foreign exchange reserves of Bangladesh quadrupled during his tenure as governor of the central bank. In March 2016, Rahman resigned from his post following the 2016 Bangladesh Bank heist. He submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 15 March 2016. Fazle Kabir was selected as the new governor the same day. Before the resignation was made public, Rahman stated that he would resign if it would benefit his country. Two days after his resignation, he returned to his position as professor at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Dhaka. Currently he is the 'Bangabandhu Professor' of University of Dhaka.
Rahman is a regular newspaper columnist who often writes on poverty, public expenditure, economic development, public welfare and other similar socio-economic issues. He has published 45 titles as of 2009, of which 16 are in English and 29 in Bengali. He writes books on different issues but mainly socio-economic issues, for example his recent publication about Rabindranath Tagore's socio-economic thoughts compilation and research. Some of his publications and books are as follows:
- Nai Nai Voy, Hobe Hobe Joy, Panjeree, ISBN 978-984-634-297-0
- Tabo Bhovone Tabo Bhovne: Anyaprokash, ISBN 978-984-502-211-8
- Agami Diner Bangladesh: Ekusa sataker Unnayana Bhabana, Pathak Samabes, ISBN 984-8120-39-4
- Alo andharer Bangladesh: Manab Unnayaner Sambhabana O Cyalenja, Mawla Bradarsa, ISBN 984-410-337-1
- Apaunnayan: Samakalin Bangladesher Arthaniti, Samajniti, Pyapirasa, ISBN 984-8065-66-0
- Asahajoger Dinguli: Muktijuddher Prastutiparba, Sahitya Prokash, ISBN 9844651530
- Bangladesher Arek Nam: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, Sahitya Prakash, OCLC 755121227
- Bangladesher Unnayan Kon Pathe, Dipty Prokashony, ISBN 984-806-141-X
- Bhasha Andolan Theke Muktijuddha: Atiur Rahmaner 7 Ti Grantha Pathaker Samikaran, Riddhi Prakash, ISBN 9843102835
- Bhashar Larai Bachar Larai, Nawroz Kitab Maha
- Bangobondhu Sohojpat, Chalochchitra O Prokashona Odhidoptor
- Janaganer Bajet: Amsagrahanamulaka Pariprekshita, Pathaka Samabesa, ISBN 984-8120-28-9
- Nirbachita Prabandha, Anyaprakash, ISBN 9848684239
- Muktijuddher Manush: Muktijuddher Swapna,Sahitya Prakash, ISBN 984465128X
- Susaner Sandhane Anyaprakas, ISBN 984-8682-36-8
- Svapnera Bangladesh, Khunje Phera, Dipti Prakasani, ISBN 984-8061-28-2
- Taba Bhubane Taba Vabane: Rabindranather Arthasamajik Vabana-bisayayak Racanasangkalan,Anyaprakash, ISBN 9789845022118
- Unnayan alap: Arthaniti, Paribesa O Unnayana Bitarka, Pathaka Samabesa, ISBN 984-8120-49-1
- Beel Dakatia: The Environmental Consequences of a Development Disaster, University Press, ISBN 984-05-1258-7 (984-05-1258-7)
- Early Impact of Grameen, a Multi-Dimensional Analysis: Outcome of a BIDS Research Study, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and Grameen Trust, ISBN 984-31-1416-7 (984-31-1416-7)
- Education for Development: Lessons from East Asia for Bangladesh Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 981-230-132-1 (981-230-132-1)
- Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh Zed Books, Limited, ISBN 0-86232-346-0 (0-86232-346-0)
- Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh: Hardcover, Zed Books, Limited, ISBN 0-86232-345-2 (0-86232-345-2)
- People's Report, 2002–2003, Bangladesh Environment by United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh, Unnayan Shamannay (Organization : Bangladesh) Unnayan Shamannay, ISBN 984-32-0866-8 (984-32-0866-8)
- People's Report, 2004–2005: Bangladesh Environment by United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh, Unnayan Shamannay (Organization : Bangladesh)
- Sustainable Environment Management Programme (Bangladesh), Unnayan Shamannay, ISBN 984-32-3225-9 (984-32-3225-9)
Awards and recognitions
Rahman was awarded "Central Banker of the Year 2015" from the Asia-Pacific region, in recognition of his achievement in supporting lending to farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without compromising growth and macroeconomic stability, by the London-based Financial Times owned magazine, The Banker; he was also awarded the Central Bank Governor of the year 2015, Asia by The Emerging Markets Newspaper (UK based financial newspaper of the Euromoney Group).
The British Parliament lauded Rahman for women empowerment on 8 March 2015. Meanwhile, The Banker, a subsidiary monthly of the Financial Times of London, published captioned news with highlighting BB Governor Rahman in People Column of its March 2015 issue under the title "Movers and Shakers". He is the only Bangladeshi who gets the title.
In 2014, he received the GUSI Peace Prize International 2014 for his work in the field of economics focusing on the welfare of poor people. He has also been awarded the "World No-Tobacco Day Award 2012" by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala expressed his sincere gratitude to Rahman for extending CSR support towards victims of the disastrous earthquake in Nepal on 7 June 2015.
Rahman received "Dharitri Bangladesh National Award", presented by Dharitri Bangladesh, for the Bengali Year 1421 on 30 December 2015
Rahman was awarded one of the most prestigious awards of Bangladesh, the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 2016. Dr. Rahman was got honorary 'Bangabandhu Chair' from University of Dhaka in 2019 
- "$101m heist: Atiur quits as governor of Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur resigns over $81 M heist". The Daily Star. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Atiur Rahman returns to Dhaka University". bdnews24.com. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Banker of the Poor". Daily Sun. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Atiur stresses auto payment system to accelerate dev". Daily Sun. 1 November 2015. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
- Harmachi, Abdur Rahim (6 January 2015). "Atiur Rahman Asia's Central Banker of the Year". bdnews24.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Bahree, Megha (22 June 2016). "Former Bangladesh Bank Chief Blames Global System for Theft". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Paul, Ruma (7 February 2018). "Bangladesh to sue Manila bank over $81-million heist". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Rahman, Sajjadur (4 May 2009). "A humble beginning". The Daily Star. Retrieved 28 November 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Atiur Rahman". MIT Legatum Center. Archived from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- Rahman, Atiur (1987). Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh. Zed Books. ISBN 978-0-86232-345-5.
- "List of Research Staff Movement". Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Dr. Atiur Rahman new Chairman of Janata Bank". The Independent. Dhaka. 2 July 2000. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2007 – via HighBeam Research.
Dr. Atiur Rahman recently taken over as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Janata Bank … . A distinguished economist Dr. Atiur Rahman was a director of Sonali Bank prior to this assignment.
- "Overview of the Bank". Sonali Bank. 2005. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
Sonali Bank, the largest & leading commercial bank of the country …
- "Overview of the Bank". Janata Bank. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
Janata Bank, the second largest commercial bank in Bangladesh ...CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Local budget for health, education proposed". The Independent. Dhaka. 15 October 2003. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2007 – via HighBeam Research.
Senior Research Fellow of BIDS Dr Atiur Rahman …
- "Profile of Dr Atiur Rahman". New Nation. 5 May 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016 – via HighBeam Research.
- "Atiur Rahman made 10th BB governor". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 September 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- http://www.bangladesh-bank.org/[permanent dead link]
- "University of Dhaka". www.du.ac.bd. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
- Caplen, Brian (20 February 2015). "Central banks take on development mantle". The Banker.
- "BB boss sees growth spurt from ACH". bdnews24.com. 8 November 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Irshad, Shahed (4 August 2015). আমি গরিবের ব্যাংকার, তবে ধনীদের আক্রান্ত করি না [I'm banker to the poor, the rich will not suffer]. Banglanews24.com (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 6 August 2015.
- "Bangladesh bank boss Atiur Rahman quits over $100m cyber-fraud". BBC News. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Atiur Rahman: used books, rare books and new books @ BookFinder.com".
- "Atiur Rahman receives Asia's 'Central Banker of the Year' award". bdnews24.com.
- "Central Bank Governor of the Year, Asia 2015".
- এশিয়ার শ্রেষ্ঠ ব্যাংক গভর্নর ড. আতিউর রহমান [Asia's Best Bank governor said. Atiur Rahman]. Banglanews24.com (in Bengali). 10 October 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
- "Bangladesh Bank Home". Bangladesh Bank.
- "British Parliament lauds Dr. Atiur Rahman for women empowerment". Atiur Rahman. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- "Gusi Peace Prize: Past Laureates".
- "BB chief gets World No-Tobacco Day award". The Daily Star. 31 May 2012.
- "Atiur receives Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque". The Daily Star. 8 May 2012.
- ভূমিকম্পে সহায়তায় গভর্নরকে কৃতজ্ঞতা নেপাল প্রধানমন্ত্রীর. ArthoSuchak (in Bengali). 12 June 2015.
- ধরিত্রীর সম্মাননা পাচ্ছেন আতিউর রহমান [Atiur Rahman Getting the Earth Award]. Banglanews24.com (in Bengali). 30 December 2015. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016.
- বাংলা একাডেমি সাহিত্য পুরস্কার তুলে দিলেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী [The Prime Minister gave the Academy Award for Bengali literature]. Banglanews24.com (in Bengali). 1 February 2016. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016.
- "Dr. Atiur Rahman". Bangladesh Bank. Retrieved 6 November 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Official Website
- Rahman, Atiur. অসামান্য জীবন সংগ্রাম [Atiur's own speech about his struggle]. Mukto Kontho. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012.
| Bangladesh Bank Governor