Agent banking is gaining more popularity across the country as about 2.9 million (29 lakh) accounts were opened and over Tk 37.34 billion (Tk 3,734 crore) was deposited in six years till March this year, reports BSS.
According to the quarterly data of January-March, 2019, of Bangladesh Bank (BB), deposit collection through the agent banking was Tk 37.3450 (Tk 3,734.50 crore), which was 20 per cent higher from Tk 31.1241 billion (Tk 3,112.41 crore in the October to December quarter of 2018.
At the end of January to March quarter, the number of agent banking accounts across the country also increased by 18 per cent or around 0.45 million (4.50 lakh) compared to the previous quarter.
The number of accounts with agents increased to over 2.9066 million (29, 06,655) from over 2.4569 million (24,56,982) in the January-March period (Q1) of 2019.
At the end of January-March quarter, the number of agents increased to 4,866 from 4,493 of the previous quarter and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 7,838 from 6,933 in the same quarter.
Official data shows that Bangladeshi expatriates sent more than Tk 71.82 billion (Tk 7,182.65 crore) through the agent banking channel, which was over Tk 55.57 billion (Tk 5,557.42 crore) in the October-December quarter of 2018.
Talking to BSS, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) Deputy Managing Director Abu Reza Mohd Yeahia said agent banking is moving fast across the country since the banks are providing all sorts of efforts to bring the grassroots people under the banking services.
"Agent banking is providing banking services by engaging representatives under a valid agency agreement," he mentioned.
Terming the agent banking a great initiative of the central bank, he said generally a bank needs a number of staff and huge expenditure to operate a branch.
"If one bank can run its activities through agents, it will be helpful for both the bank and the customers," he noted.
He said IBBL has also started agent banking as it is playing a role to take banking services to the doorsteps of the common people.
"We have already received permission for 503 outlets. We have started services in around 500 outlets," he added.
The central bank launched agent banking in 2013 by giving licence to Bank Asia.
A total of 21 commercial banks have already taken licenses from Bangladesh Bank while 19 banks are running their activities across the country.
Following are the 19 commercial banks that are currently running agent banking activities:
Agrani Bank, Modhumoti Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, NRB Commercial Bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Social Islami Bank, Standard Bank, Dutch Bangla Bank, Bank Asia, First Security Islami Bank, Mid Land Bank, The City Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Brac Bank, Eastern Bank, The Premier Bank, United Commercial Bank Limited, AB Bank and NRB Bank.
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