Three new banks - South Bangla Agricultural and Commerce Bank Limited, Union Bank and NRB Commercial Bank - have been cleared to start commercial operation by the Bangladesh Bank.
South Bangla bank was given the clearence last Thursday while Union Bank and NRB banks got their approvals on Sunday.
Earlier, the apex bank had issued no-objection certificates to enlist seven new banks (including the three approved ) as companies.
Final approvals for the certified Farmers Bank Limited, Midland Bank Limited, Meghna Bank Limited are also expected soon . Following enlistment, they will be given license after they apply to the Bangladesh Bank.
NRB Commercial Bank Chairman Farasat Ali confirmed to bdnews24.com of the Bangladesh Bank approvals. “We will begin operations from April or May… Now we will apply to BB for opening branches… Will begin as soon as they (BB) approve it.”
NRB Commercial Bank have put opened their head office at Motijheel's Crescent Bhaban, appointed their Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director and filled some other top positions.
Other licensed banks are recruiting after having taken up office space.
Last year, the government approved two other banks for operation. But their clearance certificate is still awaited, as they could not provide the apex bank with the source of their funds and some other necessary information.
The government had cleared six banks run by local sponsors and three NRB banks of foreign sponsors in April last year. Critics say many of these approvals resulted from political consideration.
Union Bank has named Shahidul Alam as its Chairman and Golam Masi as its sponsor. Golam Masi was the International Affairs Secretary of Jatiya Party. Critics say H M Ershad's influence has secured Union Bank the necessary clearences..
Fasarat Ali, Chairman of NRB Commercial Bank was Awami League President of USA unit. On the other hand, SM Amzad Hossain has been named Chairman of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank.