Bangladesh Bank has listed as scheduled bank the newly-approved Community Bank Bangladesh Ltd of Bangladesh Police Kalyan Trust amid criticisms that the sector was already overcrowded with the presence of so many banks.
The acknowledgement came from the central bank in a notification on Thursday, three days after its board of directors decided to award the banking licence to the Police Kalyan Trust.
With the notification the number of scheduled bank stood at 59.
On the same day, the BB in another notification also allowed the Community Bank Bangladesh Ltd to be remained out of purview of a provision of the bank company act that imposed restriction on transfer of share within the directors and share holding by a director not exceeded more than 10 per cent.
Community Bank became the third scheduled banks to be run by agencies linked with the country’s law and armed forces.
Two others banks are Trust Bank operated by the Bangladesh Army and Shimanto Bank run by Border Guard of Bangladesh.
Ansar VDP Unnayan Bank, run by the paramilitary Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defence Party, is a non-scheduled specialised bank.
The awarding of banking licences to Community Bank came amid criticisms that the BB was lenient to the political pressure to check overcrowding of the crucial sector.
Even finance minister A M A Muhith on Thursday said that new banking licences were granted to entrepreneurs on ‘political grounds’.
He made the comment while answering a question that BB was reviewing proposals to award three more licences to new banking entrepreneurs including 85-year old Jahanara Huq, mother of law minister Anisul Huq and chairman of Citizen Bank.
Other two proposed banks are Bengal Bank and People’s Bank, according to Bangladesh Bank spokesman Serajul Islam.
Of the private scheduled banks, the present government provided licence to establish nine banks in 2009 on political consideration despite opposition by the central bank and other quarters. One of the new banks — Farmers Bank founded by former home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir — has been facing severe liquidity crisis because of loan scams.
The government was forced to arrange bailout fund worth more than Tk 700 crore from the state-owned commercial banks for scam-hit Farmers Bank.
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