How to open a bank account in Bangladesh?

Tommy Buckley

If you’re moving to Bangladesh for work or study, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to open a local bank account. This will help you hit the ground running, and access all the services you need to manage your day to day finances. This guide to opening a bank account in Bangladesh is a great place to start.

We’ll look at how banking in Bangladesh usually works, and how to open a bank account in Bangladesh. We’ll also show you how you could start to save, with low cost international transfers* from Wise, if you need to send money from the UK to Bangladesh.

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Which documents do I need to open a bank account in Bangladesh?

The process for opening a bank account in Bangladesh will vary, depending on the bank and your status.

You’ll need details and documents proving your identity and address, such as:

  • Photo ID for applicant and nominee - like your passport
  • Photograph of the applicant
  • Photograph of the nominee duly attested by the applicant
  • Copy of e-TIN Certificate
  • Proof of your residential address - such as a utility bill in your name

You’ll also need proof of your income or personal circumstances, such as:

  • Proof of income if you’re employed, such as a letter from your employer, a bank statement reflecting your deposited salary, or a tax return
  • Proof of occupation, like your employment contract, or a professional licence if you’re self employed

Which documents do I need to open a student account in Bangladesh?

Student accounts have a different opening process. For example, to open a student account with Standard Chartered Bank in Bangladesh, you’ll need:

  • A course offer letter (with details on tuition fees, course start and end dates, and estimated living expenses)
  • A valid passport
  • An academic certificate
  • A copy of your tuition refund policy (if you're using the account to pay in advance for tuition)

Opening a bank account in Bangladesh

You’ll usually have to visit a bank branch to open a bank account in Bangladesh. This means that a member of staff can guide you through the account opening process, including checking and verifying all your paperwork, and taking any required minimum deposit. Here are some different account types which may interest you.

Non Resident

Bangladeshi banks offer various non-resident account options. Some are targeted specifically at non-resident Bangladeshis (NRB), while others can be foreign currency deposit accounts which can be used to add and hold funds in a range of foreign currencies, and then convert to BDT when needed.

Standard Chartered, for example, offers a foreign currency deposit account which is available to NRB and dual-national customers, with a minimum deposit requirement of 1,000 USD or 500 GBP¹.


Student accounts are available from several major banks in Bangladesh, although these may be limited to Bangladeshi citizens only. If you can find a student account you’re eligible for, you’ll usually be rewarded with low or no fees and some tailor made perks for younger customers.


Bangladeshi residents, who have a full set of paperwork showing their local address, will usually be able to choose from a broad range of account types with major Bangladeshi banks. Accounts usually operate in BDT, but there are also foreign currency account options both for day to day use, and for longer term savings.


Savings accounts are available, including easy access savings accounts and fixed term deposits, in both BDT and a range of major global currencies.

Can I Open A Bank Account in Bangladesh From Abroad?

Your ability to open a bank account in Bangladesh is heavily restricted if you're not within the country. However, some banks allow you to open international or foreign currency accounts. Standard Chartered offers a foreign currency account for deposits in USD, GBP and Yen. There’s no required account balance, but deposits must be made in foreign cash only. This account can be opened from abroad.

Policies will vary based on your bank. Some banks will allow you to nominate a resident Bangladeshi to cosign the opening of your account. In addition, if you bank with HSBC or Citi, you may be able to set up a Bangladeshi account as a component of your international banking profile. Before you travel, make inquiries with your local bank and the bank you're thinking of choosing in Bangladesh.

Open a bank account online in Bangladesh

You’ll probably find it pretty tricky to open an account with a traditional bank in Bangladesh if you’re not in the country yet. One great alternative, though, is to open a multi-currency Wise account, which can be used to hold and convert around 40+ currencies, including Bangladeshi taka.

Open your Wise account from the UK, using your local UK proof of ID and address, top up in pounds, and switch over to BDT for when you travel. You’ll be able to order a linked Wise card, too, for simple spending and withdrawals in Bangladesh and around the world. We’ll look a bit more at Wise and the Wise account, a little later, to help you decide if this option might suit you.

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Which Bangladesh Bank is best for foreigners?

There’s no single best bank for foreigners in Bangladesh - it’ll usually come down to a mix of your personal preference, and the specific products you need to access. Here are some of the larger banks operating in Bangladesh, including local, regional and global names you may well recognise.

Depending on where you’re living in Bangladesh you may find one particular bank works best for you, simply based on branch and ATM location. If you have several different banks nearby, and you’re not sure which to pick, these options can often suit foreign customers, based on the accounts available, and options for services in a foreign language.

Standard Chartered Bank ⁴

  • Number of branches: 26+ (mostly in populated urban areas)
  • Number of ATMs: 83
  • Wholly-owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered means a direct partnership with Standard Chartered customers worldwide
  • Debit card fee: 690 BDT per year (about 6.5 GBP)
  • Account maintenance fee: f 300 BDT half yearly for LCY accounts
  • Offered Products:
    • Online Banking and Phone Banking with English capabilities
    • Visa Signature Card with priority service and rewards
    • Islamic Banking - Shariah-compliant
    • International Banking - free ATM cash withdrawal worldwide

Sonali Bank⁵

  • Number of branches: 1,000+⁶
  • Number of ATMs: 83
  • Subsidiaries in the UK, USA, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia
  • Offered Products:
    • Savings and current accounts, including a Hajj savings scheme and foreign currency accounts
    • Debit card account with yearly charge of BDT 345 (around 3 GBP)
    • A member of Q-Cash Consortium, so card holders can use the ATMs of other member banks of the consortium and Dutch-Bangla bank

Dutch Bangla Bank Limited⁷

  • Number of ATMs: 4,000
  • Number of branches: 200+
  • Known to be one of the more technologically-enabled banks with most services available online
  • ATM services are available for cardholders from other banks too (for a small fee)
  • Offered products:
    • Internet payments system for ecommerce merchants to charge customers
    • Dutch Bangla Nexus debit card with account holder photo and PIN

Commercial Bank of Ceylon Limited ⁸

  • Number of branches: 20+ branches and service centres⁹
  • Offered products:
    • Special focus on investments and deposits for non-residents of Bangladesh, including money market accounts and fixed deposit schemes
    • Tiered savings accounts
    • Debit - Visa shopping card (BDT 12 fee for withdrawals from ATMs outside the Commercial Bank network)
    • Credit - Visa card for individuals over 18 years of age and making at least BDT 20,000 (GBP 185) per month
    • Youth and minor accounts for individuals 12 to 18 years of age with free capped withdrawals

Banking in Bangladesh

When you move overseas, navigating a new banking system can be a bit daunting. Give yourself some time to get used to banking in Bangladesh, and bear in mind that things may not work quite the same as they do at home.

Most major Bangladeshi banks will need you to call in to open your account in the first place - but after that, you can usually access online, and sometimes mobile banking, to avoid standing in a queue at a branch too often. However, you’ll likely need to register for online banking services, and there may be a joining fee, or ongoing fees to access the services available.

Bank schedules are generally open for business between Sunday and Thursday, from 10 AM until 4 PM. It's common for banks to pause during the Muslim call to prayer and close for afternoon prayers. Select banks may also offer services on Saturdays or into the evening.

Some of the banks we introduced earlier have specific branches or phone services which offer foreign language support, which can be a good place to start. If you’re unsure, have a local friend call the branch you’re visiting ahead to set up some English speaking support.

One strong alternative, which allows you instant access to a BDT balance, with full online and mobile service in English - or any of the other 15 supported languages - is the multi-currency Wise account. Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app before you head to Bangladesh, and keep on top of your money on the move with the intuitive mobile app. There’s no minimum balance or maintenance fee, and mobile and online banking comes as standard.

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Banking Fees in Bangladesh

Banking fees in Bangladesh will vary based on the account you select, and the type of transaction you make. However, it’s important to read through your account terms and conditions carefully, as the fee structures may be somewhat different to what you’re familiar with.

In particular, look out for:

  • Account maintenance fees - these may be waived if you maintain a high enough balance
  • Account closing fee - this can be 200 BDT to 300 BDT
  • Card fees - annual fees of around 600 BDT may apply, plus out of network ATM charges
  • Foreign transaction fees - often around 3%
  • International transfer fees - may vary based on amount sent, from 100 BDT to 500 BDT for example

If low, transparent fees are important to you, you may like the Wise account, which can hold and exchange GBP and BDT, as well as 40+ other currencies.

International Transfer Fees in Bangladesh

If you’re moving to Bangladesh you may need to make a payment from the UK to Bangladesh to cover a rental deposit, or simply to make sure you have some money when you arrive. Check out low cost international transfers from Wise, to send money to BDT with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees which can beat the banks¹⁰.

Wise payments are fast - 50% arrive instantly, and 90% are there within 24 hours¹¹ - so you can hit the ground running when you arrive in Bangladesh.

No matter how you choose to set up your finances in Bangladesh once you get there, you’ll find what you need between the local, regional and global banks we’ve profiled here, and the easy to use Wise account you can open before you even head off. Use this guide to start to explore your options as you plan your move - and good luck!

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  1. Standard Chartered Bangladesh foreign currency deposit account
  2. HSBC Bangladesh
  3. Woori Bank
  4. Standard Chartered Bangladesh
  5. Sonali
  6. Sonali branches
  7. Dutch Bangla
  8. Combank Bangladesh
  9. Combank Bangladesh branches
  10. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information
  11. Speed: The speed of transaction claim depends on funds availability, approval by Wise's proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners' banking system, and may not be available for all transactions

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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