How to open a bank account in Bangladesh as an American

Gabriela Peratello

Banking as an expat can be confusing. Products, services fees and limitations are likely to be unfamiliar, and many banking brands are different to those you may know from the US.

That said, if you’re moving to Bangladesh, one of the most urgent things you’ll need to do is work out how to manage your money conveniently and without excessive fees.

This guide to opening a bank account in Bangladesh can help.


Can foreigners open a bank account in Bangladesh from abroad?

Most standard accounts in Bangladesh are opened in a branch. To open a standard account, you’ll need to complete an application form which can be pretty lengthy, and attend a branch in person to present your documents and get your account set up.

You’ll also usually need to be a local resident with proof of address and proof of your legal right to reside to get an account which has full functionality. In practice, this means that opening a regular bank account in Bangladesh can’t usually be done from abroad.

If you’re a Bangladeshi citizen or dual national you may find that some banks allow you to remotely open an account using your local documents. However, account types may be limited.

Can a US citizen open a bank account as a non-resident of Bangladesh?

Non-resident banking options do exist in Bangladesh but they’re primarily aimed at Bangladeshi citizens or dual nationals who want to open an account to receive payments from abroad.

If you’re not a Bangladeshi national and you’re not a resident in Bangladesh you may still find some options, but you’re likely to be limited to accounts for holding foreign currency only, such as fixed term deposit accounts.

If you bank with a major global banking brand in the US it’s also worth checking if you can set up a Bangladeshi account as a component of your international banking profile. Before you travel, make inquiries with your local US bank and the bank as products and policies will vary based on your bank. .

What documents are necessary for a foreigner to open a Bangladeshi bank account?

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

A common individual bank account at one of the larger banks in Bangladesh will probably require some or all of the following documents:

  • An application form given by the bank

  • Two passport-sized photos of the account holder

  • Proof of local residential address

  • Proof of ID, usually a valid passport

  • Proof of employment or income

  • e-TIN certificate

Popular Bangladeshi banks

Expats in Bangladesh are sure to find some familiar banks, including large global and regional brands. English-speaking staff and expat service offerings make these banks a sensible choice for foreigners.

Due to their wide range of services and availability, you'll likely bank with one of the following institutions:

Standard Chartered Bank®

This wholly-owned subsidiary of the global Standard Chartered¹ brand offers products and services to Standard Chartered customers in Bangladesh that may be familiar to customers of the brand elsewhere.

Your options can include:
  • Online Banking and Phone Banking with English capabilities

  • Debit and credit cards, plus travel cards

  • Islamic Banking - Shariah-compliant

  • International Banking - free ATM cash withdrawal worldwide

Sonali Bank®

Sonali Bank² is an established local bank with over 1200 branches and a presence in several other countries, too.

On offer are products and services including:
  • Savings and current accounts, including a Hajj savings scheme

  • Debit card for spending and withdrawals

  • Remittances internationally

Dutch Bangla Bank Limited®

Dutch Bangla Bank³ has personal, business and corporate services available with a broad suite of options to suit different customer needs and preferences.

You could choose from options like:
  • Checking and saving account products

  • Loans and advance payments

  • Internet and ATM banking

  • Dutch Bangla credit and debit card options

Commercial Bank of Ceylon Limited®

Commercial Bank of Ceylon⁴, which is shortened to Combank, has account services for personal customers, plus options for businesses.

There’s a special focus on investments and deposits for non-residents of Bangladesh, including foreign currency fixed deposit schemes.

Options include:
  • Checking and savings accounts

  • Debit cards and credit cards

  • Loans for eligible customers

  • Non-resident foreign currency accounts

  • Youth and minor accounts for individuals 12 to 18 years of age

Banking fees in Bangladesh

Bear in mind that the fees you pay for managing your money in Bangladesh are likely to be very different to those you’re used to at home in the US.

It’s crucial to read through your account terms and conditions carefully to make sure there are no surprises - here are a few common costs to look out for.

ATM fees

Using an ATM that belongs to a bank is likely to mean paying a fee. It’s a good idea to choose a bank with a branch, or ATM well located relative to your home or office to avoid these fees.

Other common bank fees

You may need to pay an opening charge and maintenance charge for your bank account in Bangladesh. Maintenance fees are often due every half year, plus there are usually annual fees for using a debit card.

Student and youth accounts are the only accounts that may be free of maintenance fees. It's likely that you'd still face penalties for overdrawing or closing your account though.

Bangladesh international transfer fees

International money transfer services are available through some, but not all, banks. If you look out for banks with expat services, English language capabilities or branches outside of Bangladesh, these banks are more likely to offer transfer services.

Rates and fees vary from bank to bank when it comes to international money transfers, and can include a markup on the exchange rate used for currency conversion.

Use this guide to help you pick the right place to open your Bangladeshi bank account, and you’ll find settling into your new life there so much easier.


  1. Standard Chartered Bank
  2. Sonali Bank
  3. Dutch Bangla Bank
  4. Combank

Sources checked on 10.19.2023

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