Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank has given permission to 14 commercial banks for opening around 100 SME service centers across the country by Dec. 31, officials said on Sunday.

“The banks will have to collect their licenses from the concerned department of the central bank by Nov. 30 to open such centers,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the BB has taken such move to gear up financing to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country.

On May 5, 2008, the BB asked the commercial banks to submit applications by June 15, 2008, seeking permission to set up SME service centers.

The BB also instructed the chief executives of all the scheduled banks to follow the guidelines for establishing such centers, under which the banks will provide services only to the SME clients through the centers.