The amount of deposits in the bank accounts owned by schoolchildren in the country increased to Tk 982.59 crore as of September 30 from that of Tk 880.41 crore as of June 30 last year.
A Bangladesh Bank official told New Age on Thursday that the deposit amount in the school banking accounts increased in the third quarter (July-September) of 2016 as banks had recently taken a number of initiatives to facilitate opening such accounts.
He said that banks were now trying to open lower-cost savings accounts like students accounts that resulted in an increase in the number of schoolchildren accounts and the amount of deposits in the accounts under the school banking programme.
The BB data showed that the number of schoolchildren bank accounts increased to 12.55 lakh as of September 30 from 11.82 lakh as of June 30. The number was 10.34 lakh as of December 31, 2015.
According to the BB official, banks usually count more interest rates for their fixed deposit schemes than they do for school banking accounts, he said.
Banks are now reluctant to open FDRs as they have been facing huge excess liquidity for long due to the ongoing dull business situation in the country, he said.
Against the backdrop, banks have taken initiatives to collect lower-cost fund from clients, he said.
The nature of school banking accounts is savings, he said.
Banks count lower cost for operating savings accounts like the student accounts, he said.
Bangladesh Bank on November 2, 2010 asked banks to launch the deposit product for students to infuse them with the urge to save up, BB officials said.
Fifty-six of the country’s 57 scheduled banks are now implementing the programme.
Under the programme, students below the age of 18 are allowed to open bank accounts by keeping a minimum balance. The minimum balance ranges between Tk 100 and Tk 500 depending on bank.
The amount of deposits in the bank accounts opened by school students was Tk 827.76 crore as of March 31 in 2016, Tk 844.19 crore as of December 31, Tk 764.99 crore as of September 30, Tk 687.99 crore as of June 30, Tk 823.04 crore as of March 31 in 2015 and Tk 714.49 crore as of December 31 in 2014.
The BB data showed that the amount of schoolchildren deposits in the state-owned banks increased to Tk 116.19 crore as of September 30 from Tk 94.89 crore as of June 30, 2016, that in the private commercial banks to Tk 839.39 crore from Tk 758.51 crore and that in the foreign commercial banks to Tk 8.03 crore from Tk 7.40 crore.
The amount of deposits in the school banking accounts maintained with the specialised banks, however, decreased to Tk 18.98 crore from Tk 19.61 crore.
Dutch-Bangla Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh, Eastern Bank, Rupali Bank and United Commercial Bank were the top five banks that pulled the most deposits from the students.
Banks usually give one per cent more interest on the deposits in the student accounts than they offer on other savings products, the BB official said.
The maximum interest rate banks are now offering for normal saving deposits ranges from 3.50 to 4.50 per cent, while they give 5 per cent to 5.50 per cent interest to the student account holders.
The BB official said that banks had earlier taken a number of initiatives to boost the school banking programme.
Some of the banks organised school banking conferences at different educational institutions to generate an attitude of saving among the students, he added.
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