Deposit in the street children’s accounts with the banks decreased significantly in the first three months of this year as the country’s commercial banks are unwilling to extend their services to them.
The banks also showed a reluctant attitude to open accounts for the street children and child workers as the number of accounts stood only 3,675 as of March 31, 2017, according to the latest Bangladesh Bank data.
The BB data showed that the total deposits in the street children’s accounts decreased to Tk 21.56 lakh at the end of March 2017 from Tk 24.42 lakh as of December 31, 2016.
Seventeen of the 57 banks have so far opened these accounts. The banks are : Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Rupali Bank, Agrani Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Bangladesh Development Bank, Bank Asia, Mercantile Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, National Bank, Social Islami Bank, One Bank, Pubali Bank, The City Bank, Trust Bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, and Uttara Bank.
As per BB guidelines, street children’s accounts should be operated by the non-government organisations nominated by the central bank.
The NGOs concerned will nominate at least two of their staff to take care of this programme.
One of the two nominated staff should come from the accounts department and the other from the field level.
However, the NGOs should take the overall responsibility for operating the accounts until the street children and child workers reach the age of 18.
The NGOs and the banks concerned will sign agreements to operate the accounts.
There will be no fees for maintaining these accounts, but the account-holders will not get online transaction facility, meaning that no debit or credit cards would be issued to them by the banks.
Withdrawal should be done by using cheques or other physical debit instructions.
‘Banks usually do not enjoy any profit from the saving accounts of the street children. So they are reluctant to open such accounts,’ a BB official told New Age.
Against the backdrop, the central bank on August 8 said the banks would be allowed to bear the operating cost of the accounts owned by street children and child workers from their (banks’) respective fund of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The central bank asked the banks to arrange educational programmes and workshops on technical assistance for the street children and child workers so that they can develop themselves as qualified citizens of the country. The banks will be allowed to show the cost of educational programmes and workshops as CSR.
The BB data showed that the deposit in the street children’s accounts stood at Tk 23 lakh as of September 30, Tk 22.01 lakh as of June 30 and Tk 21.12 lakh as of March in 2016.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Banking