Sixty-three brokerage firms owe maintenance fees of Tk10.83 crore in total, to the Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL) for their client beneficiary owner (BO) accounts.
Of the firms, 45 are active and trading has been suspended for 18.
The dues of ten brokerage firms summed up to approximately Tk5 crore of the total due amount.
Sinha Securities, a member of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, owes Tk3.06 crore to CDBL.
The firm's Chief Executive Officer, Reza-Ur-Rahman Sinha, told The Business Standard (TBS), "We have submitted a calculation of our dues to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). On the other hand, CDBL has also determined an amount as per their calculation."
The BSEC will examine the claims of both parties and decide accordingly, he added.
Another brokerage firm, M Securities, also owes Tk73 lakh to CDBL.
Shuvra Kanti Choudhury, managing director of CDBL said "We have continued our efforts to collect the arrears in various ways. But a number of brokerage firms are yet to pay their dues."
"We are under pressure from higher authorities for collecting the arrears and have already informed the BSEC in this regard," he added.
BSEC Executive Director Mohammad Rezaul Karim said the commission has taken initiatives in this regard.
"If any brokerage firm fails to pay its dues, the commission will take legal steps," he added.
According to sources, the BSEC will soon set a deadline for brokerage firms to pay their dues. The regulator will take legal action and impose some restrictions on any brokerage firm which fails to meet the deadline.
Also, the BSEC may limit the facilities brokerage firms get from the stock exchanges, cancel their initial public offering quota facilities which make them eligible as qualified investors, and stop the dividends they get as members of the stock exchanges.
Sources said even the digital booths and/or branch openings of the brokerage firms will be suspended if they fail to comply. Also, the CDBL may cancel the depository participant licences of the brokerage firms if they fail to clear their dues.
Currently, there are 515 depository participants in the CDBL and 20.67 lakh BO accounts active in the stock market.
A brokerage firm charges Tk450 for each BO account as its annual maintenance fee. Of the amount, the government gets Tk200, BSEC Tk50, CDBL Tk100, and the brokerage firm gets Tk100.
Market insiders said some brokerage firms charge Tk800 to Tk1,000 per BO account as an annual maintenance fee.