Six to eight new banks may get approval from BB board todayStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh Bank board is likely to approve six to eight new private commercial banks today amid intensified lobbying by aspirants backed the by ruling party, BB officials said.
A senior BB official told New Age on Tuesday that the three scrutiny committees of the central bank for scrutinising applications for setting up new commercial banks had already completed their tasks.
Six to eight new banks, including two banks by non-resident Bangladeshis, is likely to get permission at the BB board meeting which would be held today at 1.30 pm at the central bank headquarters in the capital, he said.
The scrutiny reports would be submitted to the board of directors of the central bank, he said.
He, however, said that the overall scrutiny process, completed in three phases, had been concluded after getting green signal from the government, which virtually picked the wining aspirants from 37 applications.
The three scrutiny committees usually needed at least six months to complete their work, but they prepared the reports within four months due to heavy political pressure from the government, he said.
Another BB official said the probable new commercial banks which might get approval at the BB Board meeting are : Modhumati Bank Ltd of ruling Awami League member of parliament Fazle Noor Taposh, The Farmers’ Bank Ltd of AL member of parliament Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, The People’s Bank of AL lawmaker Mirza Azam, Federal Bank by state minister for Liberation War Affairs ABM Tajul Islam, Meghna Bank of AL lawmaker NH Ashiqur Rahman and Union Bank Ltd of former president HM Ershad.
Two NRB banks, out of three short-listed applications, are also likely to be approved by the board of directors of BB, he said.
After scrutiny by three committees of the central bank, three of the five applications were selected for the proposed NRB banks, he said.Farasat Ali and Nizam Chowdhury, now living in the United States, have applied for the proposed NRB Commercial Bank and NRB Bank respectively, as chairmen.
Another applicant, Iqbal Ahmed, who is living in the United Kingdom, has applied for a bank named NRB Bank.
Sources in the BB, who wanted not to be quoted, said that the three applicants for licences of NRB banks had the blessings from the ruling Awami League.
Finance minister AMA Muhith recently said it was the political decision of the government to award licences for new banks amid criticism by leading economists who said that there was no need for new banks in the country.
Economists said that the existing 47 banks were enough considering the size of the economy of the country.
The central bank on September 27, 2011 invited applications from sponsors interested in setting up new private commercial banks, asking them to submit their proposals with a non-refundable bank draft of Tk 10 lakh by November 30.
BB received 37 applications for setting up new banks by November 30, the deadline for submitting the applications.
The BB sources said that the primary scrutiny committee had selected 16 applications for new banks, but the technical committee, led by Ahmed Jamal, general manager of foreign exchange policy department of BB, eventually shortened the list.
The evaluation committee led by Md Abul Quasem, deputy governor of BB, has completed the final scrutiny process, he said.
Earlier on March 15, the board of directors of the central bank held a meeting to scrutinise the applications of the sponsors of the proposed banks.
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