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Trust Bank is thinking to buy an exchange house under joint venture in England

Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury,  Managing Director , Trust Bank

Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury, Managing Director , Trust Bank

Trust Bank Ltd has moved to buy an exchange house in England in order to strengthen its remittance in-flow channel, eventually boosting the economy in Bangladesh.

The bank, in this connection, has already sought permission from the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the Trust Bank chief executive officer said.

“We bring remittances under memorandum of understanding (MoU) with exchanges houses in different countries. Now, we are thinking to buy an exchange house under joint venture in England on permission from the central bank,” Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury, also managing director of the bank, told the FE in an interview recently.

Expressing his vision to build the bank as a leading-cum compliant one in the country, Mr Chowdhury said the bank also wants to facilitate financial inclusion in a humane way across the country.

The private commercial bank, mainly sponsored by the Bangladesh Army Welfare Trust, started its journey in 1999 and was listed with the stock exchange in 2007 giving its 40 per cent shares to the public.

Mr Chowdhury having 37-year experience in banking said the bank wish wanted to give necessary support if any economic zone is established in the Sylhet for the interest of better businesses in the region.

Following its vision, the bank’s main thrust is to take the banking services to the doors of the common people, and as such it already launched bank-led mobile financial services.

Under the service, the insurance holders of Metlife Alico will pay their premium,a and all recruitment fees of Navy will be paid through the trust bank mobile banking under agreement; another deal with Army is under process for such payment facilities.

Armed forces members now can receive their salaries from ATM booths under the bank’s digital services. The bank is also opening school banking accounts at the cantonment areas’ schools, where the students too can pay their tuition fees by the mobile banking, he said, adding that the Trust Bank also launched passport fees payment services through its mobile banking from December 5, 2013.

While talking about the bank’s green banking activities, he said that it already financed in setting up 1,500 biogas plants across the country; the bank will implement another programme of establishing a village as a ‘solar village’ by setting up solar panels at 100 homes there.

Islamic banking is also getting notable response at the bank, he said, adding that the Trust Bank till now has five Islamic banking windows.

In the near future, considering huge prospect of the Islamic banking, the bank will move to provide Islamic banking services from its all branches after bring the five windows under a central platform, Mr Chowdhury said.

The Trust Bank is working to capitalize on the piousness of the Army soldiers in this connection, he continued.

The bank has 88 branches across the country including all the cantonments, he said, adding that it is also developing the IT in giving banking services in a better way.

In a query about the current idle fund in the banking sector, he partially attributed it to non-disbursement of fund to investment because of unhealthy political situation after the banks returned it (fund) from the capital market.

“Unless the overall political scenario became normal, the people will not go for investment and as such the idle money problems will not come to an end,” he said.

In a another query, admitting the rate of loan interest as ‘higher’ in Bangladesh than that in many other countries, Mr Chowdhury said the 2012 unhealthy competition in searching deposit even offering higher interest rate is a cause to the higher rate of bank loan. However, the rate will go down over time, he predicted.

Mr Chowdhury, also a Rotarian, started his long banking career by joining the Rupali Bank as its probationary officer in 1977.

In 1984, he joined the Arab Bangladesh (AB) Bank as its senior officer where he was for 18 and half years in different branches and posts. Later in 2002, he joined Al-Baraka Bank that turned into Oriental Bank in late 2002.

Mr Chowdhury left the Oriental Bank in 2003 and joined the Trust Bank as its senior executive vice president. Here, he was promoted to the deputy managing director in 2005 and finally became the managing director of the Trust Bank on February 3, 2013.

He is also involved in different social activities.


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