Dhaka: The US has voiced its support for Bangladesh's Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank, asking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina not to disturb the structure of the pioneering micro-lending agency despite a review process.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a letter to Hasina, "expressed her hope that the Government of Bangladesh would endeavour to ensure that the Bank's integrity, including its innovative governance and ownership structure, is sustained as an effective development tool for the poor," a US embassy statement here said.

It said Clinton "also conveyed her hope that the Government of Bangladesh would ensure any review of affiliated companies would be fair and transparent."

US Ambassador to Dhaka Dan Mozena on Wednesday called on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to hand over the letter from Clinton addressed to Hasina, close on the heels of  government launching a review to ensure the accountability of the management of the Grameen Bank, which was founded by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus 30 years ago.

The government here has constituted a commission to identify Grameen Bank's institutional strength, weakness and constraints and make recommendations.

The bank's founder Yunus, who was forced to quit the micro-finance lending agency last year after a protracted conflict with the government, last week expressed fears about the fate of the Grameen Bank.

"I believe without doubt that Grameen Bank's future will be endangered if the government raises its role in the bank by changing its legal structure ... Has Grameen Bank committed any major anomalies that required (the government) to set up this probe?" Yunus, 71, said in a statement.


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