Bengal Commercial Bank launched business operations on Wednesday. COURTESY
Bengal Commercial Bank launched
business operations on Wednesday targeting to reach small and medium
entrepreneurs by way of giving out loans. This takes the total number
of banks in Bangladesh to 60. Bangladesh Bank in February last year gave its
approval for the business to operate.
Bengal Commercial Bank was initiated by the Bengal Group of Industries which is a local manufacturer of plastic products. Awami League lawmaker Morshed Alam is the group's chairman and his younger brother, Jashim Uddin, the bank's chairman.
Tarik Morshed, managing director of Bengal Commercial Bank, said a large portion of the country's people was still deprived of credit support from the banking sector. "We will give out loans to the underprivileged small and medium enterprises in order to speed up the growth. The bank will also cater loans to the farmers in the interest of the country," he said.
The bank chairman said the banking sector was now going through different types of challenges. "In some cases, clients have a lack of confidence on the banking sector. We will give our all-out efforts to help clients remove their confusion over the banking sector," he said.
The bank will run a centralised banking system from the start, which would ensure corporate governance in the days to come. The government imposed an interest rate cap of 9 per cent on lending, helping to create small and medium entrepreneurs. The bank will give a further boost to this process, he said.
Nazrul Islam Mazumdar, chairman of the Bangladesh Association of Banks, said every bank in Bangladesh was actually operated by their board of directors. For this reason, the boards should give their utmost patience to run banks appropriately, Mazumdar said. The central bank gave approval for the opening of three new banks in the past two years. The banks are Community Bank Bangladesh, Bengal Commercial Bank and Citizen Bank.
Citizen Bank is yet to start its banking operation. In addition, Bangladesh Bank gave a letter of intent to Peoples Bank to start its preparations in order to get the final approval from the banking regulator. The Bengal bank chairman presided over the inauguration ceremony at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka where Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was present as chief guest.
Salman F Rahman, the prime minister's private sector industry and investment adviser, lawmaker Alam, Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi also took part in the event.