Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The top management of nine new private commercial banks (PCBs) has urged the central bank to allow them for setting up more bank branches in the capital Dhaka to facilitate their business activities.  

The chairmen of new banks made the apply at the first meeting held in the Bangladesh Bank (BB) headquarters on Wednesday with BB Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair, bankers and officials said.

They also requested the central bank chief for relaxation of the branch expansion policy allowing them 2:1 ratio instead of the existing 1:1 for opening urban and rural bank branches for at least three years.

The chairmen also proposed that the bank branches located in ‘B’ category municipality areas could be considered rural branches.

On the other hand, the central bank asked the top management of new PCBs not to set ‘aggressive’ profit targets for ensuring discipline in the country’s banking sector.

The BB’s warning came against the backdrop of alleged violation of some rules and regulations particularly in the area of single borrower exposure limit by a few banks, officials said.

“We’ve advised the banks to remain alert from the beginning for avoiding any risks,” BB Deputy Governor S K Sur Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.

The new banks started their operations last year after completing all the formalities.

He also said the central bank will consider the pleas of the new banks for opening more branches in Dhaka. “We’ll also take decision on the proposal of ‘B’ category municipality bank branches to be considered rural ones after examination.”

Talking to the reporters, Chairman of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank Limited S M Amzad Hossain said the central bank has assured them of providing necessary policy support for expediting business activities of the new banks.

BBN/SSR/AD-01May14-12:50 pm (BST)