Standard Chartered (StanChart) is reportedly in talks to buy
HSBC’s consumer banking operations in Bangladesh and the
negotiations are still at an early stage.
HSBC opened its first branch in Bangladesh in
1996 and has 13 offices in the country.
StanChart is the largest overseas bank in
Bangladesh with a network of 26 branches and 57 ATMs. The
lender previously strengthened its position in Bangladesh with
the purchase of the South Asian and Middle Eastern operations of
ANZ Grindlays Bank in 2000.
In January, Sanjeeb
Chaudhuri, StanChart’s consumer banking regional head South Asia,
global head of marketing and consumer banking country head, India
told RBI that growth is on the cards for StanChart in
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
“Given the competitive environment and where
our competitors – both local and international are – there is a
tremendous opportunity to grow the franchise in these countries to
a multiple of where we are today,” Chaudhuri said.
StanChart is the biggest foreign lender in
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
HSBC has already sold its banking operations
in Thailand, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras and is reportedly
seeking buyers for its Japanese retail unit. Citibank is another
foreign lender with active retail operations in Bangladesh apart
from HSBC and StanChart.