Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday expressed unhappiness over Bangladesh Bank’s move to approve new banks saying it was being taken on political grounds.
“I am very unhappy about it, because I visualise that very soon these banks will start merging,” he told reporters at his secretariat office.
A bank merges with another to survive following poor performance for long. Asked about it, he said the government would have to amend the relevant laws for merging banks.
Muhith said the approvals were being given although there was no need for new banks now. “These [licences for new banks] are given on political grounds.”
On Monday, Bangladesh Bank gave its final nod to a commercial bank and asked three others to produce documents required to obtain licences.
The BB board also asked Bengal Bank, People’s Bank and Citizen Bank to submit their proper documents to the central bank.
Bengal Bank is initiated by Bengal Group of Industries, a local manufacturer of plastic goods. Awami League lawmaker Morshed Alam is the chairman of the Group, and his younger brother Jashim Uddin is the chairman of the proposed bank.
The chairman of the proposed People’s Bank MA Kashem is an AL leader in the US.
Jahanara Huq, mother of Law Minister Anisul Huq, is the chairman of proposed Citizen Bank.
At present there are 58 banks in the country.
Asked about the poor state of a bank linked with former minister MK Alamgir yesterday, Muhith said, “That’s true … Many ministers have involvement in banks”.