Bangladesh objects to bank list for UK visa

Bangladesh has objected to the new rules of the UK Border Agency on the financial statements required for British visa applications.

The UK government named only 14 banks in Bangladesh to issue financial documents to support visa applications, which the Bangladesh foreign ministry said was a violation of international rules.

“Picking only 14 banks out of the total of 47 local and international banks for visa applications is a breach of the Vienna Convention 1961, and is illogical,” the ministry said in a letter to the finance ministry.

“The British government’s decision is contrary to Bangladeshi citizens’ freedom to open bank accounts anywhere they like,” it said.

On October 2, the UK Border Agency announced the introduction of a list of financial institutions from which it will only accept documentation in support of visa applications under the points-based system (PBS).

The changes have been brought so that the banks can provide financial documentation which meets the new requirements.

This list was due to come into force for PBS visa applications submitted from November 1, 2012.

Following the letter of the foreign ministry, the banking division of the finance ministry has sought opinion from the central bank.

The foreign ministry will hold an inter-ministerial meeting to finalise the government’s position on the issue, said the letter.

The list includes AB Bank Ltd, Eastern Bank, National Credit and Commerce Bank, Southeast Bank, One Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, BRAC Bank, First Security Islami Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of India, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Citi Bank and HSBC.

Of the 14 banks, none is controlled by the government, although the state-run banks are the largest banks in the country in terms of branches and area coverage.

Visa applicants will need to submit evidence from one of the listed financial institutions to show that they have sufficient funds.

The UK government is implementing the same move in many other countries.

Source: The Daily Star


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