SAM

Published:
2020-02-19 16:46:19 BdST

Female clients in agent banking increased by 57pc


FT ONLINE

A 57 percent yearly growth of female clients in 2019 shows that more women are getting interested in agent banking services.

The growth rate of total male and female account holders was 33 percent in that year, shows the Bangladesh Bank data released on Tuesday.

Agent banking is becoming more popular as it is now available at the clients' doorstep, said the Bangladesh Bank officials.

In 2019, three new banks got licenses from the central bank to operate agent banking.

Two other banks, which received licenses earlier, started agent banking services last year, taking the number of agent banking service providers to 21.

Under agent banking services last year, deposit increased by 22 percent, loan disbursement 46 percent, and remittance disbursement 30 percent.

Two Sariah-based banks, recently, outperformed their rivals, who had started agent banking service earlier.

At the end of December 2019, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited received the highest deposit of 21.69 percent, followed by 21.60 percent of Dutch Bangla Bank and 20.15 percent of Al-Arafah Islami Bank.

Bank Asia is now the fourth highest deposit receiver in agent banking, although it was the first bank to launch the service in the country in 2014.

Under the agent banking umbrella, people are getting a few essential banking services on a limited scale.

The central bank approved agent banking operation mainly to spread it to the rural people. But now it is also available in urban areas.

Currently, Dutch Bangla Bank has the highest number of agent outlets, having more than 33 percent of such outlets and 38 percent of the accounts.

At the end of December 2019, the agent banking service providers had Tk7,517 crore of deposit. And 78 percent of it came from rural areas. Whereas, women held 28 percent of the total deposit.

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