Agent banking deposit grows by 20pc in Jan-Mar

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, May 23,2019


A file photo shows an agent banking outlet of a private commercial bank. Deposit in the agent banking accounts rose by 20 per cent or Tk 622 crore in January-March 2019 amid banks’ increased focus to the system.— Internet photo

Deposit in the agent banking accounts rose by 20 per cent or Tk 622 crore in January-March 2019 amid banks’ increased focus to the system.
Customers can get services like cash deposits, withdrawals, remittance disbursement along with cash payments though agent banking window.
Bangladesh Bank’s latest quarterly report on agent banking released on Wednesday showed that total deposit in agent banking accounts increased to Tk 3,734.50 crore at the end of March this year from Tk 3,112.41 crore at the end of December last year.
Of the 19 banks which have agent banking operation, deposits in Al-Arafah Islami Bank’s agent banking accounts was the highest, Tk 1,024.34 crore at the end of March this year, up by 10 per cent from Tk 928.3 crore at the December this year.
Deposits in Dutch-Bangla Bank through its agent banking wing was Tk 955.56 crore, representing 26 per cent of total deposits in the agent banks, and the figure was Tk 753.62 crore in the Bank Asia’s agent banking wing, representing 20 per cent of total deposits.
Bangladesh Bank has so far licensed 21 entities to run the service under the agent banking guidelines in 2013. The entities, however, gradually started to function from 2016.
Central bank officials said that the deposit growth in the agent banking accounts was mainly because of expansion of the service in the rural areas where people are deprived of banking service.
The central bank data showed that the number of accounts with agents increased to 29.07 lakh at the end of March this year from 24.57 lakh in 2018. The figure was 12.14 lakh in 2017.
Of the accounts, 25.22 lakh accounts were opened with the agents in the rural areas and the rest 3.84 lakh accounts were opened in the urban areas.
At the end of March, the number of agents increased to 4,866 from 4,493 three months ago and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 7,838 from 6,933 in the same period.
Officials of the banks said that the agent banking have been 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 was providing banking services by engaging representatives under a valid agency agreement, they added.
As a result, banks have become able to collecting substantial amount of deposits from people who were mostly unbanked as well as providing them with loans, they said.
Six banks — DBBL, Bank Asia, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Modhumoti Bank, Mutual Trust Bank and The City Bank — have provided Tk 210 crore credit facility among its customers including the highest loan disbursement by Bank Asia Tk 192.29 crore.
Till March this year, official data showed that Bangladeshi expatriates sent Tk 7182.64 crore through the agent banking channel, which was Tk 5,557.42 crore at the end of December, 2018.

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