Business Support: Banking in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, Norfund supports corporate governance to make Mutual Trust Bank a market leader, which facilitates economic growth and job creation.

Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) is a private commercial bank in Bangladesh that has a clear Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) strategy and focus on Green Financing. Providing finance to SMEs is an important growth driver to the Bangladeshi economy and a significant creator of jobs.  

The project: Improving the effectiveness of Mutual Trust Bank

  • Country: Bangladesh
  • Norfund contribution: NOK 251 000

The aim of the project was to identify areas of improvement by considering international best practices (IFC standards), but also local laws, Bangladeshi bank rules and regulations. 

Norfund co-funded the project which allowed for hiring an external consultant to carry out a review of the effectiveness of MTB’s corporate governance. The consultant conducted document reviews, interviews with selected members of the bank’s management team and the Board and performed additional analysis.

Based on this, the consultant presented recommendations to the MTB Board and developed an implementation plan focusing on commitment to good corporate governance. The Board concluded that they would seek to implement these recommendations.

The outcome of the Norfund Business Support co-funded governance project has been valuable for MTB. There is a consensus in the board that the expectation that Norfund becoming an investor would add value to MTB has already been borne out.

Mr Syed Manzur Elahi, Founding Chairman, Mutual Trust Bank

As MTB has moved into the implementation phase of their corporate governance review; this project is expected to lead to more efficient decision-making, improve transparency and will contribute to making the bank a market leader in the country.

The role of Norfund’s Business Support

In 2018, Norfund provided the bank with a loan and in 2019 Norfund became an equity investor. During Norfund’s research of MTB, Norfund’s identified corporate governance as an area of improvement. As a result of this assessment, the MTB Board decided to perform a corporate governance assessment and Norfund was asked to co-fund the project.