Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Trust Bank Limited with support from the government launched on Sunday a new product to help the country’s insolvent IT freelancers get loan for buying laptop, utilise their skills and earn more foreign currency.
 Under the new scheme, each of the freelancers of 21-61 years age can borrow BDT 20,000-BDT 70,000 from any branch of the private commercial bank under its newly designed product ‘Trust Futuretech’.
The consumer product was launched aiming to facilitate the government’s “learning and earning programme”, which has already developed 20,000 freelancers since 2012 and targeted to reach 70,000 by this year.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Atiur Rahman formally launched the product by handing over the loan to some freelancers at a ceremony at the central bank headquarters in the capital Dhaka.
At the programme, the Trust Bank and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this connection. ICT Division’s secretary Md Nazrul Islam Khan and Trust Bank MD and CEO Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations.
The ICT Division gave guarantee against the laptop credit of each freelancer; debt equity ratio of the consumer product was set at 70: 30 under special consideration of the BB following request from the Trust Bank and the Division for the sake of supporting the freelancers. Generally, the ratio is 30: 70, according to officials.
The freelancers, who successfully completed training under the learning and earning programme or the freelancer to entrepreneur programme or the mobile apps programme under the ICT Division, will be eligible for the credit.
The interest rate was set at 14 per cent. However, Dr Rahman proposed that the Trust Bank give a rebate of 1.0 per cent to the borrowers, who will repay the credit timely.
They will have to repay the loan in equal monthly installment within two years; the installment against BDT 20,000 and maximum BDT 70,000 varies from BDT 956 to BDT 3,400.

BBN/SSR/AD-15Sept14-12:05 (BST)