BB approves Community Bank
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday gave its final nod to a commercial bank and asked three others to produce documents required to obtain licences.
Community Bank Bangladesh, proposed to be set up by Bangladesh Police Welfare Trust, got the nod.
The central bank's board in a meeting presided over by BB Governor Fazle Kabir decided that Bengal Bank, People's Bank and Citizen Bank would be approved after they provided proper documents to the BB.
Central bank spokesperson Serajul Islam said, “The [three] proposed banks will get licences when they submit the required documents.”
Noting that there are ongoing tax-related lawsuits against three directors of Bengal Bank, he said court clearance would be needed for its approval.
Bengal Bank is initiated by Bengal Group of Industries, a local manufacturer of plastic goods. Awami League lawmaker Morshed Alam is the chairman of the Group, and his younger brother Jashim Uddin is the chairman of the proposed bank.
People's Bank will obtain licence after the foreign ministry produces a report on its Chairman MA Kashem's assets in the United States.
Kashem is also an AL leader in the US.
The BB spokesperson said Citizen Bank had not submitted a complete application for approval. The board will approve the bank after verifying its application.
Jahanara Huq, mother of Law Minister Anisul Huq, is the chairman of Citizen Bank.
The central bank last year turned down a finance ministry proposal to approve new banks.
Asked what made the board change its decision, the BB spokesperson said the fiscal budget had been enlarged and the foreign exchange reserve increased.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on September 25 asked the central bank to give licences to all proposed banks at once.
“Probably, Bangladesh Bank recently decided to give licence to one of the proposed banks. I have requested you to issue licences to all proposed banks at one go,” read the letter.
The minister said government high-ups decided to give licences to the proposed banks at a meeting where the BB governor was present.
Including the four new banks, the number of banks in the country will be 62.