The banking sector in Bangladesh consists of several types of institutions. Bangladesh Bank is the central bank of Bangladesh and the chief regulatory authority in the banking sector.
Pursuant to the Bangladesh Bank Order, 1972 the Government of Bangladesh reorganised the Dhaka Branch of the State Bank of Pakistan as the central bank of the country, and named it Bangladesh Bank with retrospective effect from 16 December 1971. Other than Bangladesh Bank, banks in Bangladesh are primarily categorized into two types: Scheduled and Non-Scheduled banks.
1. Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd (BDBL)
Bangladesh Development Bank is a state-owned specialised commercial bank in Bangladesh. The bank has one of the highest loan default rates in Bangladesh. Shamima Nargis is the chairperson of the bank. Kazi Alamgir is the chief executive officer and managing director of the bank.
Bangladesh Development Bank was established on 16 November 2009 as a Public Limited Company by merging the state-owned Bangladesh Shilpa Bank with the Bangladesh Shilpa Rin Sangstha; both were established on 31 October 1972. Bangladesh Development Bank started in 2010 with 534 court cases concerning 21 billion taka and 24.6 billion taka in written off liabilities. Santi Narayan Ghosh was appointed chairperson of the Bangladesh Development Bank in September 2012. In 2016, former managing director of Karmasangsthan Bank, Mushtaque Ahmed, and former deputy managing director of Rupali Bank Limited, Md Abu Hanif Khan, were appointed directors of Bangladesh Development Bank.
2. Agrani Bank Limited (ABL)
Agrani Bank Limited is a fully state-owned commercial bank that was established by merging 2 Pakistani banks, ‘Habib bank’ and ‘Commerce bank,’ after the liberation of Bangladesh. It was formed under the Bangladesh Banks (Nationalization) Order 1972. Currently, the bank has 967 branches to serve its clients, and it is very popular across the country due to the quality of its services. It is the first nationalized bank in the country to offer agent banking, and more than 400 of its agent booths deliver banking services in rural areas of Bangladesh.
ABL has five subsidiaries: a merchant bank, a remittance house in Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada, and an SME financing company. The bank is headquartered at 9/D Dilkusha Commercial Area, Dhaka – 1000, Bangladesh, and Zaid Bakht is the current chairman of the organization.
3. Sonali Bank Ltd. (SBL)
The largest commercial bank operating in Bangladesh, Sonali Bank Limited, was set up as ‘Sonali Bank’ in 1972 under the Bangladesh Banks’ Nationalization Order. Later in 2007, it was converted to a Public Limited Company with full ownership of the government and started functioning as Sonali Bank Limited. To expand its activities, the bank founded Sonali Exchange Co. Inc., a full subsidiary company in the US, in 1994. Moreover, Sonali Bank Ltd., along with the government of Bangladesh, initiated the operation of Sonali bank (UK) in 2001.
Currently, the bank has 1227 branches across the country and 2 more branches abroad to serve its clients. It has also offered Islamic banking services through dedicated branches in different districts of Bangladesh since 2010. Mr. Ziaul Hasan Siddiqui is the current chairman of SBL, and its headquarter is at 44 Motijheel Commercial Area, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
4. BASIC Bank Limited
BASIC Bank Limited (founded as Bangladesh Small Industries and Commerce Bank) is owned bank in Bangladesh which was founded on 2 August 1988. The bank was founded to finance small enterprises. Abul Hashem is chairman of the bank. Md. Anisur Rahman is the managing director of the bank. More than 45 billion taka loan was defaulted from the bank, many of the loans were to companies that existed on paper only, with the support of former chairperson Sheikh Abdul Hye Bachhu. 100 borrowers accounted for 86 percent of the defaulted loans.
BASIC Bank Limited was established on 2 August 1988 began operations from 21 January 1989. It was owned by BCC Foundation, which owned 70 percent of the shares, and the government of Bangladesh, which owned the remaining 30 percent of the shares. On 4 June 1992, BCCI, which owned BCC Foundation, closed and the government of Bangladesh took over 100 percent ownership. In December 2003, Basic Bank signed an agreement with International Leasing and Financial Services Limited to provide loans.
5. Janata Bank PLC. (JB)
Janata Bank PLC. is a state-owned commercial bank of Bangladesh established in 1972. Its headquarters is situated at Motijheel in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. It is the second largest commercial bank in Bangladesh. In 2019, Janata Bank had a fiscal deficit of 82.56 billion taka, the highest of any bank in Bangladesh ever. It’s the best performing public bank in Bangladesh.
Following the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan at the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, Janata Bank PLC was formed combining the then United Bank Limited and Union Bank Limited under the Bank Nationalization Ordinance of 1972 (President’s Order 26). In March 2004, managing director of the bank, Murshid Kuli Khan, visited Greece to study the feasibility of remittance from the country.
6. Rupali Bank PLC
Rupali Bank is a state owned commercial bank in Bangladesh. Its headquarters is in 34 Dilkusha, Dhaka. Kazi Sanaul Haque is the chairman of the bank. Mohammad Jahangir is the managing director of the bank.
Rupali Bank Limited was constituted with the merger of 3 erstwhile commercial banks i.e. Muslim Commercial Bank Limited, Australasia Bank Limited and Standard Bank which operated in the then East Pakistan on 26 March 1972, under the Bangladesh Banks (Nationalization) Order 1972.
Rupali Bank worked as a nationalized commercial bank until 13 December 1986. When the Bank went public but the majority of the shares are still retained by the Government. Rupali Bank Limited emerged as the largest Public Limited Banking Company of the country on 14 December 1986.
7. Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB)
Bangladesh Krishi Bank is a fully government owned bank in Bangladesh founded in 1973. The primary purpose of the bank is to provide services to farmers and agricultural industry. Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank is the other state owned agriculture bank in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Krishi Bank was established in 1973. Bangladesh Krishi Bank is one of seven state owned banks in Bangladesh. In 2006, the bank was ordered to ensure 2 per cent interest on loans to farmers. On 16 November 2006, M Fazlul Haque was appointed managing director of the Bank.
On 30 January 2008, Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled was appointed chairman of the Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Md Mukter Hussain was appointed the managing director of Bangladesh Krishi Bank. In 2009, it had 952 branches which is the highest number of branches for banks in Bangladesh.
8. Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank
Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank is a state-owned specialized bank in Bangladesh, a specialized financial institution for financing the farmers of the 16 districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur. The headquarters of the bank is in Rajshahi.
Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank was established on 15 March 1987 through the Presidential Ordinance No 58. The Bank’s headquarters are located in Rajshahi. The Bank was made for farmers of Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions. It received 253 branches of Bangladesh Krishi Bank in Rangpur and Rajshahi Division.
The Bank worked with Asian Development Bank to implement Northwest Crop Diversification Project in 2003 to diversify the crops grown in Northern region of Bangladesh.
9. Probashi Kallyan Bank
Probashi Kallyan Bank is a state-owned bank in Bangladesh, a specialized financial institution for non-resident Bangladeshis. The Bank was started in 2010 by the Government of Bangladesh to provide financial services to oversea Bangladeshis. It had a start up capital of 1 billion taka. 95 percent of the capital came from Wage Earners’ Welfare Fund and five percent from the government of Bangladesh.
On 11 September 2016, Md Wahiduzzaman Khandaker was appointed Managing Director of Probashi Kallyan Bank.
The bank has faced allegations of corruption and nepotism. The bank also faced manpower shortages in 2020 harming daily operations of the bank.
Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad is March 2021 announced plans to establish branches of the bank in every Upazlia in Bangladesh. In August 2021, Probashi Kallyan Bank signed an agreement with NCC Bank to cooperate in remittance disbursement.
10. Community Bank Bangladesh Ltd.
Community Bank Bangladesh Limited, a concern of Bangladesh Police Kallyan Trust, has been established with a vision to serve communities with the tailor made secured solutions abiding by the highest level of corporate governance. It aims to contribute to the economic growth of the country by providing financial products & services to the communities across geographies. State-of-the-art Core Banking System is an enabler to operate centrally in optimum magnitude. Community Bank runs on its three core building blocks i.e. Trust, Security and Progress.