Private bank owners, managing directors want time to pay minimum wage

Owners and managing directors have sought more time to implement the minimum wage set for private bank employees by the Bangladesh Bank.

The owners’ group, the Bangladesh Association of Bankers, or BAB, and the MDs’ organisation, the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, or ABB, met central bank Governor Fazle Kabir and other top officials on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

“They complained about some things. We’ve made those clear to them after review,” said central bank’s spokesman Serajul Islam. “They also sought time to implement the new rules. We said we would review the matter.” 

The Bangladesh Bank on Jan 20 fixed the minimum monthly salaries the private banks can pay their employees. Trainee officers must be paid at least Tk 28,000 during entry. For other employees, the minimum salary will be Tk 24,000.

The central bank said it set the minimum salaries to encourage skilled people to take banking as a career. The newly fixed minimum salaries will be effective on Mar 1, according to a notice.

The central bank also said an officer’s salary will be minimum Tk 39,000 after the internship. They include assistant officers, trainee assistant officers, trainee assistant cash officers and officers of other equivalent posts.

Nazrul Islam Mazumder, chairman of Exim Bank and BAB, said after Wednesday’s meeting they discussed with the central bank “how difficult it will be” for them to implement the instruction from Mar 1.

The Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday issued a new circular to remove “confusions” over the previous one, saying it had never stated “unskilled workers must also be promoted” or “officials cannot be sacked for incompetence”.

The central bank said the confusions arose after some media published parts of the previous circular.