Home ›› Economy ›› Banking

Nagad, Kori get digital banking licence

Staff Correspondent
22 Oct 2023 21:58:59 | Update: 22 Oct 2023 22:11:39
Nagad, Kori get digital banking licence
— File Photo

The Bangladesh Bank granted digital banking licences to Nagad Digital Bank and Kori Digital PLC of ACI on Sunday. These companies are expected to commence operations within six months.

The decision was made at the central bank's board meeting, chaired by Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder. Executive Director and spokesperson of the central bank Mezbaul Haque confirmed this to journalists.

The regulator granted preliminary approval for digital banking licenses to a total of eight organisations. Three of these institutions will be required to establish digital wings. The remaining three institutions will be granted full digital banking licenses later if they meet the necessary requirements.

Mejbaul Haque said that it has been decided to approve the digital wing of Digi10 Bank PLC, Bkash Digital Bank and Bank Asia's Digital Bank.

The Digi10 Bank PLC is a consortium of 10 conventional banks, namely - City Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, Eastern Bank Limited, Dutch Bangla Bank Limited, Trust Bank, Prime Bank, Pubali Bank, National Credit and Commerce Bank, Mercantile Bank and Midland Bank.

Furthermore, there is a possibility that three more banks may receive licences after a six-month monitoring period to assess the performance of the initial two digital banks. These are Smart Digital Bank, North East Digital Bank and Japan-Bangla Digital Bank.

Four state-owned banks - Sonali, Agrani, Janata, and Rupali – also want to set up another digital bank.

State-run Mobile Financial Service provider Nagad, bkash, mobile operator Banglalink, and digital services company Pathao have applied to get the licence to set up a digital bank as well.

Fifty-two companies have applied for digital bank licences from the Bangladesh Bank in August.

The central bank approved the digital bank guideline on June 14. The minimum capital requirement for a digital bank is Tk 125 crore, whereas a conventional bank requires Tk 500 crore to obtain a licence.

The operations of a digital bank will be governed by the Banking Company Act, as outlined in the guidelines provided by the Bangladesh Bank. Each sponsor is required to have a minimum shareholding of Tk 50 lakh, with a maximum ownership of 10 per cent or Tk 12.5 crore.