“We are committed to this market. Bangladesh is a very important franchise for Standard Chartered Bank,” Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer of StanChart Bangladesh, told bdnews24.com on Tuesday after the bank launched the MortgageOne scheme.
MortgageOne is unique compared to the existing home loans offered in the market. For existing home loans, clients pay interest on the full loan outstanding amount. With the new scheme, clients will pay interest only on the difference between the loan balance and the funds held in the customer’s current account linked to MortgageOne, the bank said in a statement.
MortgageOne is part of the bank’s commitment to Bangladesh customers, Bijoy said.
“We are here for the 113 years and our history is much longer and we are deeply rooted in the fabric of Bangladesh’s economy.”
Bangladesh is now the sixth country after Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and the UAE where the bank has opened this scheme.
Standard Chartered Bangladesh’s Head of Corporate Affairs Bitopi Das Chowdhury, CEO Naser Ezaz Bijoy and Head of Retail Banking Aditya Mandloi appeared before the press for the launch of MortgageOne, a home financing solution for the bank’s retail clients, in Dhaka on Tuesday.
But the Bangladesh market is different as many are buying homes for the first time, with economic growth accelerating. The number of first-time home buyers will rise, so will the mortgage market. “This is one way of expanding the market,” Bijoy said.
MortgageOne allows clients to pay off their loan much faster than a regular mortgage and at a lower effective interest rate.
Here’s an illustrative example: a customer with Tk 1.25 million in deposits in a current account against Tk 5 million in loans borrowed via MortgageOne will have 56 months to repay the credit, compared to 60 months in conventional home loans.
A customer will also bear a reduced loan burden: a MortgageOne client will pay Tk 934,259 in total interest, which is 32 percent less than in the conventional loans.
However, the balance maintained in the current account can offset a maximum of 25 percent of the loan amount.
The Standard Chartered Bank started its operation in Bangladesh in 1948 by opening its first branch in the port city of Chittagong. In August 2000, Standard Chartered completed the acquisition of Grindlays Bank in Bangladesh and inherited Grindlays Bank’s presence in the country that dates back to 1905.
This made Standard Chartered the oldest and the leading international bank in Bangladesh that never closed its doors in its 110 years of banking operation in this country.
Standard Chartered was the first international bank to extend credit lines to an independent Bangladesh in 1972. It is also the first bank to open the first external letter of credit in Bangladesh in early 1972.
The bank also assisted Bangladesh Bank with reconstruction of the records that were destroyed during the Liberation War and with the setting up of the exchange rate mechanism.
“Bangladesh is an important franchise for Standard Chartered Bank. We feel that there is a lot of potential here,” Bitopi Das Chowdhury, the head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing, told bdnews24.com.
Bangladesh is at the “inflection point” in home loans and credit cards, Chowdhury said. “Bangladesh is still in a growth mode.”
“Our consumer credit is on the upward trend. We have a lot of potential of the mortgage market,” Chowdhury said.
In Hong Kong and Singapore, people already have one or two homes. But here in Bangladesh, many will be buying homes for the first time. “So this is an important market for us.”