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Nagad, Kori get nod to open digital banks

Bangladesh Bank yesterday handed over letters of intent (LoIs) to Nagad Ltd and Kori, paving the way for them to launch full-fledged digital banks for the first time in the country.

Abdur Rouf Talukdar, governor of the central bank, presented the LoI to Tanvir A Mishuk, founder and managing director of Nagad Ltd, and Habibullah N Karim, chairman of Kori Digital Bank.

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On Sunday, the BB decided to give the permission to set up Nagad Digital Bank PLC and Kori Digital Bank PLC.

"We received approval from Bangladesh Bank to establish the country's first digital bank," Mishuk told The Daily Star after receiving the letter.

He said Nagad Digital Bank aims to bring banking services to the fingertips of the people who face challenges in visiting traditional banks for various reasons.

"We also aspire to provide loans at a single-digit interest rate to individuals and that so without collaterals," he said, adding that the digital bank will address the day-to-day needs of the common people.

Nagad is a mobile financial service provider in Bangladesh with more than 8.5 crore customers.

Habibullah N Karim told The Daily Star that they received the LoI.

The sponsors of Kori Digital Bank include conglomerates ACI, Ispahani, Transcom and Technohaven Company Ltd. Karim is the founder and CEO of Technohaven.

Three committees of the central bank assessed 52 applications for digital banks.

Abu Farah Md Nasser, a deputy governor of the BB, Mohammad Shahriar Siddiqui, a director of the banking regulation and policy department, and others were present at the event at the central bank headquarters.