Meridian Finance & Investment takes off in style

Promising to be “different and dynamic”, the newest name in Bangladesh’s non-banking financial services industry, Meridian, launched itself on Monday to push “traditional business boundaries”.

Published : 19 Oct 2015, 05:25 PM
Updated : 19 Oct 2015, 05:25 PM

Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman formally inaugurated the operation of Meridian Finance & Investment Ltd at a glittering ceremony attended by leading figures from business and banking in Dhaka.

Promoters said Meridian would be “committed to sustainable business growth, pushing traditional business boundaries and introducing best practices to grow its capabilities”.

They promised “good governance, compliance and maximum stakeholder value”.

Kazi M Aminul Islam, a former secretary to the prime minister and a former alternate executive director to The World Bank Group, chairs the board of the 32nd non-banking financial services company, with a paid-up capital of Tk 100 crore, in Bangladesh.

As the company unveiled its logo with the slogan -- “Shaping Stories” – Kazi Aminul Islam and fellow board members vowed to be nothing short of “the best in the business”.

The central bank governor said Meridian had fulfilled all the criteria before being awarded the licence.

Abdul Matlub Ahmad, the FBCCI President, said Meridian’s birth came at a “very challenging” time. “There’s no shortage of money in the banks. Most banks are reeling under excess liquidity. Nine new banks have come into the market.”

So the key challenge for the new entity, said the FBCCI chief, would be to come up with innovative products.

But the governor was more optimistic than others. “This is the best time to invest in Bangladesh,” he said, citing the stable currency backed by a huge foreign currency reserve.

Atiur Rahman referred to his recent visit to Peru, where he attended the board meetings of The World Bank and IMF, and said Bangladesh was being praised by everyone for its economic management.

He spoke of the World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu, who described Bangladesh’s performance as “astonishing” in an interview with, and other stalwarts lauding the state of economy despite gloomy global scenario.

“Quality is the key,” said Chairman of Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association Asad Khan, “for a financial services company.”

There are all indications, Khan said, that Meridian has the hallmark of that key element.

Prime Minister’s Information Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Meghna Bank MD Nurul Amin, NCC Bank MD Golam Hafiz, Meridan DMD Irteza A Khan were among others present.