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Bangladesh Offshore Banking Units

Yeah, Im thinking of trying too. Basic due diligence gives that City Bank has 133 branches and was founded in 1983, so it's not a fly by night operation. Their app even has 4.4 stars on google play.

Im wondering though if one gets a debit card. In the FAQ it says:

"4. What type of account can a customer open?
A customer can open a Fixed Deposit account in foreign currency (USD or EUR) under this program.

12. Can a customer open a Fixed deposit account without opening a current account?
To open a Fixed deposit account, opening a current account is a mandatory requirement.

17. Can a customer avail Credit card or Debit card against OBU account?
Since the OBU account is opened for the purpose of Fixed Deposit only, the bank will not issue any debit/credit card against this account. "


Ok, so an OBU account is fixed deposit account without card, but to have a fixed deposit account one must have a current account, and I assume a current account comes with a card.
 
Yeah, Im thinking of trying too. Basic due diligence gives that City Bank has 133 branches and was founded in 1983, so it's not a fly by night operation. Their app even has 4.4 stars on google play.

Im wondering though if one gets a debit card. In the FAQ it says:

"4. What type of account can a customer open?
A customer can open a Fixed Deposit account in foreign currency (USD or EUR) under this program.

12. Can a customer open a Fixed deposit account without opening a current account?
To open a Fixed deposit account, opening a current account is a mandatory requirement.

17. Can a customer avail Credit card or Debit card against OBU account?
Since the OBU account is opened for the purpose of Fixed Deposit only, the bank will not issue any debit/credit card against this account. "


Ok, so an OBU account is fixed deposit account without card, but to have a fixed deposit account one must have a current account, and I assume a current account comes with a card.
They don’t offer debit cards. There is one other bank that offers with 100k deposit.
 
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This is all brand new in Bangladesh. They have passed law (Offshore Banking Act 2024) and regulations to attract foreign capital. On paper, it looks quite attractive but it remains to be seen whether it's actually any good. So far, it seems City Bank, Eastern Bank, Prime Bank, and several more have opened up OBUs.

Banking in Bangladesh has improved a lot of the last few years. This new law could be a great benefit to Bangladesh, but it's not without risks. These banks are quite inexperienced with international banking of this type. Hopefully they don't turn accidentally turn into money laundering nests. It would be very unfortunate to have a bunch of EUR or USD flowing through an account in Bangladesh only to one day see the bank being kicked out by its correspondent bank after a sanctioned person or illegal activities are spotted.

Be careful. Take it slow. Monitor the situation. But it could be an interesting new possibility for international banking.
Quick update: I downloaded the SC app to try to apply for an OBU account with them. The link is not working on the app. So I called and they told me they are not taking any new account application. No reason given. Did anyone manage to open an OBU account in Bangladesh online recently with any other financial institution?
 
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Quick update: I downloaded the SC app to try to apply for an OBU account with them. The link is not working on the app. So I called and they told me they are not taking any new account application. No reason given. Did anyone manage to open an OBU account in Bangladesh online recently with any other financial institution?
I tried applying online with Eastern Bank PLC, but their web form fails in the end with "method POST is not allowed here" error.
Also applied online with City Bank PLC, got an acknowledgement email and now waiting for the result.
 
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I tried applying online with Eastern Bank PLC, but their web form fails in the end with "method POST is not allowed here" error.
Also applied online with City Bank PLC, got an acknowledgement email and now waiting for the result.
So my account got approved in City Bank but the customer service is horrible, I call them to ask how to enable digital banking and they just hang the call or tell me to wait one week.
 
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Yes, it's this “a card with 100k only” (but you might not need a card)...
However, I appreciate the really detailed information about the account opening process, actually nice. Never seen this.

Generally, these islamic banks
are IMO worth checking – IMO, as islamic banks are more conservative by nature when handling their funds (no crazy loans etc.) they might be more safe...
 
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