Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first branch of the bank on Wednesday
Community Bank Bangladesh, owned by the Bangladesh Police Welfare Trust, is aiming to be one of the best performing banks in the country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first branch of the bank on Wednesday at Police Plaza, Gulshan.
This year, five more branches will be opened at the capital's Motijheel, Sripur in Gazipur, Agrabad in Chattogram, Panchabati in Narayanganj, and Noapara in Habiganj.
The bank also plans to open more branches all over the country next year.
Previously, in November 2018, Community Bank Bangladesh Limited received approval as the 59th scheduled bank of the country. Around 200,000 police personnel of the country will be its first clients.
The bank's management think they can expand its network by capitalising on this customer base.
Masihul Huq Chowdhury, managing director and CEO of Community Bank, said: "As it is the bank of a [police] force, we will comply with each and every policy set by Bangladesh Bank. We will be vigilant to ensure that there is no crisis in the bank."
We have started recruiting manpower based on their skills and we will try our best to ensure professionalism, he added.
"The inspector general of police will be the chief of the board of directors of this bank. There will be everything from security to assurance. So, there will be no crisis of people's trust on the bank," Masihul said.
"Our first plan is to spread out our branches in all 64 districts of the country. We want to open banking booths, in addition to establishing branches, for which we will get permission from Bangladesh Bank this year."
The managing director added that small and medium enterprise (SME), corporate and retail banking will be done through those booths.
"Booth banking is a new idea in Bangladesh. We want to reach the marginalised people of our community using this new form of banking. We want to finance on a cluster basis to create employment opportunities," he said.
According to the bank sources, Community Bank has been established on three main bases – trust, security and progress.
The bank is committed to spreading community banking services to marginalised people, as a modern, safe and trusted financial organisation.
The bank will use Edgeverve Infosys as its core banking software.
Community Bank will initially prioritise disbursing loans to members of the police at low interest rates, giving financial aid to injured policemen, and providing financial assistance for their treatment and educational purposes.
The profits of the bank will go to Police Welfare Trust, the sources added.
In 2016, a proposal on behalf of the Bangladesh Police, was placed before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for establishing a bank. In its response, the prime minister said the government had no objection to it if they could collect Tk400 crore, as per the guidelines of the central bank, said sources at Police Headquarters.
From 2017, the Police Welfare Trust Board had started collecting money from police personnel. A decision was taken to collect Tk25,000 from each of 1,66,000 policemen – from constable to inspector general. Later, the per person amount was increased to Tk27,000.
From the collected funds, Police Welfare Trust handed over Tk400 crore to the central bank.
In 1995, the Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank became the first financial institution to be established by a law enforcing agency in Bangladesh. Later, Trust Bank started its journey under the initiative of Bangladesh Army Welfare Trust in 1999.
In 2016, the Border Guard Bangladesh Welfare Trust opened the Shimanto Bank.
With the opening of the Community Bank, this has become the fourth bank of its kind to operate in Bangladesh.