Trust Bank, sponsored by the Army Welfare Trust, has decided to form a subsidiary with Malaysia's Axiata Group to provide mobile financial services, agent banking and cards.
The bank will hold 51 percent
of the proposed company, Trust Axiata Digital Ltd, while Axiata will own the rest. The company's initial paid-up capital has been proposed at Tk 5 crore.
“The board of directors approved the formation of the subsidiary on Tuesday,” Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury, managing director of Trust Bank, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Chowdhury said they will now move to sign a deal with Axiata Group to set up the company. Trust Bank will then send the proposal to the regulatory authorities for approval.
The new company will provide technology-driven services. “We expect to begin operations of the new company in three months, subject to regulatory approval,” said Chowdhury.
The move, if it gets through, will shift some of Trust Bank's operations to Trust Axiata Digital.
Of the 56 banks in Bangladesh, only Brac Bank set up a subsidiary, bKash, to operate the bank's mobile financial services. Trust Bank has a much wider approach, giving many operations to the proposed subsidiary.
Trust Bank started its journey in 1999. The bank has a network of 100 branches, SME centres, 152 automated teller machines, booths and 65 points-of-sale in 55 branches.
The bank introduced the automated branch banking system in 2001 and online banking in 2007. Its paid-up capital now stands at nearly Tk 469 crore; it was listed on the stock exchanges in 2007.