Dhaka, Bangladesh (MLB)- The central bank of Bangladesh has approved six more private commercial banks (PCBs), aiming to help strengthen the ongoing financial inclusion programs through bringing un-banked people under the banking network, officials said.
The decision came at a meeting of the Bangladesh Bank (BB)’s, the country’s central bank, board of directors, held at its central office in the capital Dhaka on Sunday, with BB Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair.
The six approved PCBs are: Union Bank Limited, Modhumoti Bank Limited, the Farmers Bank Limited, Meghna Bank Limited, Midland Bank Limited and South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank Limited.
“The board has approved the six PCBs after a thorough scrutiny of all 16 short-listed applications one by one,” Deputy Governor of the BB SK Sur Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.
He also said the board has also decided to issue letters of intent (LoI) to the approved six PCBs, giving them a period of six months to comply with the existing rules and regulations for setting up new commercial banks.
“We’ll issue licenses to the PCBs after their proper compliance with all conditionalities,” Mr. Sur said, adding that loan defaulters and tax evaders would not be allowed to be the directors of new banks.
The proposed chief executive officers (CEO) of the approved PCBs will have to present their business plan before the board, he said while explaining the conditionalities for the new banks.
“All the applicants are Bangladeshi citizens. The BB board has considered those who were found eligible, based on their qualifications,” he said replying to a query if the approvals were given only to Awami League (AL)-affiliated people.
The proposed chairmen of newly-approved banks are: Union Bank Limited — Shahidul Alam, Modhumoti Bank — Humayun Kabir, Farmers Bank — Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Meghna Bank — AHN Ashiqur Rahman MP, Midland Bank — Moniruzzaman Khandker and South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank — SM Amjad Hossain.
Earlier, 37 applications were submitted to the central bank for setting up of new PCBs. Of them, 21 were rejected by a preliminary scrutiny committee mainly due to lack of necessary papers and documents.
Last Thursday, the central bank approved three new commercial banks sponsored by non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to help boost the inflow of foreign exchange.
Currently, a total of 47 commercial banks are in operation in Bangladesh.