Agent banking accounts increase by 21pc

Publish: 2:54 PM, August 29, 2018 | Update: 2:54:PM, August 29, 2018

DHAKA, August 29, 2018 (BSS) – The number of agent banking accounts across the country increased by 21.01 percent or 3.08 lakh in April-June quarter compared to the previous quarter of January-March in 2018.

According to the quarterly data of April to June, 2018 of Bangladesh Bank (BB), the number of accounts with agents increased to 17,77,400 from 14,68,797 in the January-March period of 2018.

In the April-June period, the number of agents increased to 3,588 from 3,216 in the January to March quarter and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 5,351 from 4,905 in the same quarter.

During the quarter, deposit collection through the agent banking went up to Taka 2,012.77 crore, which was Taka 1,634.36 crore in the January-March period.

During the April-June period, official data show, Bangladeshi expatriates sent Taka 3,514.22 crore through the agent banking channel, which was Taka 2,673.99 crore in the January to March quarter.

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 added.

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 added.

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 200 outlets. We have started services in 112 outlets,” he added.

The central bank launched agent banking in 2013 by giving license to Bank Asia. A total of 20 commercial banks have already taken licenses from Bangladesh Bank while 17 banks are running their activities across the country.

The commercial 17 banks, which are currently running agent banking activities, 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, Mid Land Bank, The City Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, The Premier Bank, United Commercial Bank Limited, AB Bank and NRB Bank.