The Financial Express

Remittance inflow through private banks

| Updated: October 24, 2017 19:54:24

Remittance inflow through private banks

Remittance, one of the main drivers of the country's foreign currency reserve, showed a splendid performance in last decade. Foreign remittance sent by the Bangladeshi expatriates has positive impact on lowering unemployment, alleviating poverty and swelling up foreign exchange reserve.

The banking industry is the main channel for mopping up remittance in the country and reaching the money to the people.

The private commercial banks (PCBs) play the major role in this case. Only 47 PCBs bring in about 65 per cent of the total remittance of the country. Among them only top ten banks contribute half of the total remittance inflow. State-owned commercial banks (SCBs) too have a significant role in remittance inflow of the country. This analysis demonstrates the bank-wise remittance inflow in 2014 and 2015.

Gross remittance earnings in 2015 increased by7.65 per cent to US$ 15,316.92 million compared to US$14,228.31 million of 2014.The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are the main sources of Bangladesh's remittance. But due to decrease in manpower export to most of GCC states, remittance inflow in Bangladesh decreased by 9.66 per cent in October-December 2015 compared to the previous quarter.

During last quarter of 2015, the largest amount of remittance inflows came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (US$737.69 million), which is 20.76 per cent of total remittance earnings.

Bangladesh earned 57.46 per cent or US$ 2042.03 million of remittance from the GCC countries during October-December 2015 which is 8.70 per cent lower than that of the previous quarter.

Total manpower migration from Bangladesh stood at  5,55,901 during 2015 which was 4,25,547 in 2014, whereas female migration was 1,03,718 in 2015 and only 76,007 in 2014.

However, it is important to mention that along with increasing female migration in many countries, their job environment and financial security should be ensured through proper monitoring and supervision. Among the total migrants, almost 44 per cent were unskilled.

Therefore, the government should think about sending skilled workers for increasing and ensuring sustainable remittance inflow.

Now, it is also seen that the PCBs are holding major share of remittance inflow. This is a good indication of the private banking performance. During October-December 2015, the SCBs have collected US$ 1,060.45 million (29.84 per cent), which is 10.28 per cent and 3.59 per cent lower than previous quarter and the same quarter of the previous year respectively.

Among the SCBs, Agrani Bank ranked as top remittance earning bank, which accounts for one third of the total remittance inflow through state-owned commercial banks. In two years (2014 and 2015), Agrani Bank transferred US$ 3,394.08 million remittance. Besides, Sonali and Janata have contributed a significant portion of remittance inflow throughout the country. It is noteworthy to see that in 2015 only three SCBs (Agrani, Janata and Sonali Banks) brought in almost 29.12 per cent of total remittance in the country.  Only Bangladesh Krishi Bank among all the specialised banks brought US$ 181.61 million in 2015.

The FCBs brought in about US$ 185.79 million in 2015 which is 9.42 per cent down from previous year. Among the all FCBs, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC hold the major pie every year. These international banks should have the major contribution as these have international network and market reputation. These banks can march on the higher remittance inflow like PCBs.

The PCBs have the major contribution to remittance inflow in the country. Better customer service, international linkage and branch network around the country are the main reasons of being the customers' choice for remittance inflow through PCBs.

In 2015, PBCs brought in about 66.92 per cent of total remittance in the country. It is interesting to focus that only IBBL has brought about 38 per cent of total PCBs' remittance of the country and been remaining at the top in terms of remittance inflow in the country for the decade.

Among 47 PBCs, IBBL, National, Uttara, Pubali, Bank Asia and DBBL ranked in the top list of the remittance inflow every year. This comparative table shows two years' remittance inflow data by PCBs.

The writer is an independent researcher

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