State Bank of India has become the second foreign bank after HSBC that has taken a move to reduce the number of branches in Bangladesh in recent times because of poor business.
Bangladesh Bank on February 1 gave permission to SBI to close down its Sylhet branch as the branch sought the closure citing dull business, said officials of the central bank and SBI.
With the closure of Sylhet branch, the number of branches of SBI would come down to four from a total of six as the bank had earlier in 2016 closed down its Rajshahi branch.
The bank will operate its business through four branches -- Dhaka branch, Chittagong branch, Khulna branch and Gulshan branch.
The Indian bank will close down the Sylhet branch within the shortest possible time, an official of SBI told New Age on Tuesday.
An official said that the bank faced loss amounting to Tk 40 lakh every month in each of the two branches at Rajshahi and Sylhet.
Giving permission to close down the Sylhet branch, the BB in a letter on February 1 asked the bank to inform the clients of the branch through newspapers about its closure.
The central bank asked SBI not to impose any charge to close or transfer the clients’ accounts to other branches.
The bank will not be allowed to sack or force to resign the staff of the branch.
The foreign bank will have to provide the maximum financial benefits under the different packages if any staff of the branch takes decision to voluntarily resign or join other banks.
The foreign bank will have to attach an announcement for six months with the closure of the branch to inform the clients where they will communicate to operate their accounts.
The United Kingdom-based HSBC bank took approval from BB in May, 2016 to close down six of its 13 branches in Bangladesh.
The bank has already closed down some branches in line with the central bank approval.
BB officials said that many of the foreign banks were struggling because of the rising number of local banks as the government in 2013 permitted opening of nine new banks taking the total number of local banks to 57.
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