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Wed, May 22, 2019 9:55 PM
Mon, Feb 18, 2019 7:07

Finance minister not worried about new banks

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Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has defended the central bank’s approval of three more private banks even though economists and bankers have long been opposing to the move.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has defended the central bank’s approval of three more private banks even though economists and bankers have long been opposing to the move.

“The central bank has approved the new banks because it thinks that it is necessary,” the minister told reporters at the Secretariat on Monday.

The minister said that if the quality of service was good, then he was not concerned about the number of banks.

In 2012, twelve private banks were given licenses based on ‘political considerations’ by the Awami League, which drew criticism from different quarters.

Over the last few years, the banking sector has made headlines because it is struggling with rising numbers of bad loans, financial scams, irregularities and a liquidity crisis.

Despite these anomalies, the central bank issued licenses to some banks, giving in political pressure last year.

At the end of his tenure, AMA Muhith, the predecessor of Kamal, had admitted that Bangladesh’s banking sector became “too large”.

Economists and bankers have continued to raise their voices against the new banks, arguing the market was already saturated.

But on Sunday Bangladesh Bank approved the three more private banks-- People’s Bank, Citizen Bank and Bengal Bank--within the first month and a half of the Awami League’s third consecutive term.

With the new additions, the number of banks in Bangladesh will rise to 62.

The ruling Awami League is involved with the entrepreneurs of the new three banks.
newsbangladesh.com/nbd