5 years ago

Agent banking accounts increase to 2.9 million

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The number agent banking accounts and deposit collection through the banking has increased at the end of January-March quarter compared to the previous quarter.

According to the quarterly data of January-March, 2019 of Bangladesh Bank (BB), deposit collection through the agent banking was Taka 37.345 billion, which was 20 per cent higher from Taka 31.124 billion in the October to December 2018.

Besides, the number of agent banking accounts across the country also increased by 18 per cent or around 450,000 compared to the previous quarter, reports BSS on Tuesday.

The number of accounts with agents increased to 29,06,655 in the January-March period of 2019, which was 24,56,982 in previous quarter.

The number of agents increased to 4,866 from 4,493 of the previous quarter and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 7,838 from 6,933 in the same quarter.

Official data show that Bangladeshi expatriates sent Taka 71.83 billion through the agent banking channel, which was Taka 55.57 billion in the October to December quarter of 2018.

The central bank launched agent banking in 2013 by giving license to Bank Asia. A total of 21 commercial banks have already taken licenses from Bangladesh Bank while 19 banks are running their activities across the country.

The commercial 19 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, NRB Bank, Brac Bank and Eastern Bank.

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.

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