Staff Correspondent: The number of agent banking accounts across the country has doubled at the end of 2018 from 2017 as banks are gradually expanding their agent banking activities.
According to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the number of accounts with agents increased to 24,56,982 at the end of 2018 from 12,14,367 in 2017.
In the year 2018, the number of agents increased to 4,493 from 2,577 in 2017 and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 6,933 from 4,157 in the same period.
During the period, deposit collection through the agent banking was Tk 3,112.41 crore, which was Tk 1,399.39 crore in 2017.
In 2018, official data show, Bangladeshi expatriates sent Taka 5,557.42 crore through the agent banking channel, which was Tk 1,982.02 crore in 2017.
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 expenditures 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 305 outlets. We have also started services in 305 outlets,” he added.
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.
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