BB set to place three new bank bids before its board

Siddique Islam | Published: October 29, 2018 09:49:35 | Updated: October 29, 2018 13:45:23


The central bank is set to place the proposals for approving three more banks before its board of directors' meeting today (Monday) ahead of the upcoming national election.

"The preparations have been almost completed to place the proposals for establishing three new private commercial banks (PCBs) before the board for consideration," a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE.

He also said it will depend on high-level decision whether the proposals will be discussed at the meeting or not.

The proposed banks are Bengal Bank Limited, Peoples Bank Limited and Citizen Bank Limited.

A ruling party lawmaker and owner of Bengal Group of Industries has moved for getting permission for Bengal Bank, while a Chittagong-based businessman M A Kashem has patronised Peoples Bank. Besides, a senior cabinet member has backed for setting up Citizen Bank, sources said.

The issue of giving nod to new banks surfaced after a disclosure of Finance Minister A M A Muhith at parliament on Wednesday that the government is in the process of giving approval to four new PCBs.

Sources also said Ministry of Finance advised the central bank in September to issue licences for setting up the new banks.

On August 28, BB board gave clearance to issue licence to proposed Community Bank Limited, owned by Bangladesh Policy Welfare Trust, after completing all rules and regulations properly.

Talking to the FE, another central banker said BB has already issued letter of intent (LoI) to Community Bank Limited, asking to comply with the requirements along with the existing rules and regulations before getting licence.

Business plan of the proposed bank may be placed before the board, the central banker hinted.

BB earlier gave negative opinions regarding the proposals for allowing new banks.

The central bank in its opinions mentioned that the deteriorating financial health of many banks, especially the newly-launched nine banks, does not allow operating any new bank.

After Awami League formed the government in 2009, nine banks were given permission on 'political consideration' despite opposition from different quarters. Besides, Shimanto Bank, owned by BGB Welfare Trust, was given licence in 2016.

Currently, there are 58 banks in Bangladesh. Of them, 40 are local private banks, nine are foreign and nine are state-owned.

siddique.islam@gmail.com

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