Agent banking accounts double in one year

The number of agent banking accounts across the country has doubled at the end of 2019 from 2018 as banks are gradually expanding their agent banking activities, reports BSS.

According to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the number of accounts withagents increased to 52,57,769 at the end of 2019 from 24,55,475 in 2018. In the year 2019, the number of agents increased to 7,914 from 5,101 in 2018 and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 11,319 from 6,932 in the same period. Deposit collection through agent banking was Taka 7,543.60 crore at the end of 2019, which was Taka 3,014 crore in 2018.

Among the deposit, Taka 2,085.80 crore was collected in the urban area while Taka 5,457.80 crore collected at rural area.

Agent banking has been introduced in Bangladesh in 2013 through a guideline issued by Bangladesh Bank. The purpose of introducing Agent Banking is to provide a safe and secured alternative delivery channel for banking services to the under-privileged, under-served population, who generally live in a geographically remote location and beyond the reach of the traditional banking network.

This has allowed the banks to expand their business and accelerate financial inclusion using intermediaries as agents. The Agent Banking is playing an important role in bringing the hard-earned money of the nonresident Bangladeshis at arm’s length of their close ones. If we look at the geographical concentration of the distribution of remittance, we can see that around 90 percent is distributed in the rural areas.

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.