FE Today Logo

Agent banking sees fast growth

More expats using this channel to send money

September 11, 2017 00:00:00

Banks are gradually expanding agent banking activities across the country, as such services are receiving huge response from the people in remote areas, reports BSS.

According to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) quarterly (April-June) data, the number of agents has increased to 1,847 from 1,755 in the first quarter (January-March) of this year and the number of bank agent outlets has also jumped to 3,224 from 3023 during the same period.

During the October-December quarter of 2016, the number of agents was 1,646 and the total outlets were 2,601.

During April-June period of 2017, expatriate Bangladeshis sent Tk 8.90 billion through agent banking, up from Tk 5.72 billion in the first quarter.

During the period, the number of accounts with the agents has increased to 8,72,865 from 7,12,499 in the first quarter.

Agent banking is expanding fast across the country, Additional Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) M Hashem Chowdhury told BSS on Sunday.

It is providing banking service through representatives under a valid agency agreement, he added.

Terming the agent banking a great initiative of the central bank, he said a representative is the owner of an outlet who conducts banking transactions on behalf of a bank.

"Normally, a bank needs huge investment to open a branch. If the bank can run banking activities through agents, it is helpful for both the bank and the customers," he added.

Hashem Chowdhury said MTB is providing the agent banking services, including cash deposits, withdrawals, remittance disbursement, small loan disbursement, recovery of loans, and cash payments, through 27 outlets across the country under the government's social safety net programmes.

"Until now, about 8,400 accounts have been opened while about Tk 2.3 million has been deposited with these accounts," he added.

Deputy Managing Director of the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Abu Reza Mohd Yeahia said IBBL has also launched agent banking, as it is playing a big role in taking the banking services to the doorsteps of common people.

"We have received permission for five outlets and already opened three outlets," he added.

The Bangladesh Bank launched agent banking in 2013 by giving licence to Bank Asia. A total of 17 banks have already received licences and 12 of them have been running their activities while one more bank has started such service this year.

The 12 banks are Dutch Bangla Bank, Bank Asia, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Social Islami bank, Modhumoti Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, NRB Commercial Bank, Standard Bank, Agrani Bank, First Security Islami Bank, Midland Bank and The City Bank.

Share if you like