Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has received some 37 applications from interested sponsors for setting up new private commercial banks (PCBs) under the amended guidelines, officials said on Wednesday.

 “The central bank has received a total of 37 applications on close of the submission date on Wednesday,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the BB will start the evaluation process of the applications soon. Three committees – preliminary, technical and financial – will scrutinize all the applications, he added.

The officials, however, did not disclose the names of the proposed banks, but said that they would issue incense for establishing the new PCBs as early as possible.

The central bank started receiving the applications from October 1 last after publishing guidelines to establish new banks imposing a restriction to keep the number of directors in their board within 13.

The paid-up capital of a new commercial bank will have to be BDT 4.0 billion as required under Bank Company Act 1991, according to the amended guidelines issued by the BB on September 5 this year.

“A bank draft of BDT 1.0 million in favour of the BB has to be attached to the letter of application that serves as a non-refundable application processing fee,” the guidelines said.

On June 29 last, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told Parliament that the government would invite applications from the sponsors willing to set up new banks and life insurance companies.

Currently, a total of 47 commercial banks are in operation in Bangladesh.

BBN/SSR/AD-30Nov11-11:26 pm (BST)