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Agent banking accounts surpass 14 lakh

DHAKA, May 17, 2018 (BSS) - As banks are gradually expanding their agent banking activities, the number of agent banking accounts has already exceeded 14 lakh in the country.

According to the quarterly data (January to March, 2018) of Bangladesh Bank (BB), the number of accounts with agents increased to 14,68,797 from 12,14,367 in the October to December quarter of 2017.

During the January-March period, the number of agents increased to 3,216 from 2,577 in the October to December quarter and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 4,905 from 4,157 in the same quarter.

During the quarter, deposit collection through the agent banking went up to Taka 1,634.36 crore, which was Taka 1,399.38 crore in the October to December period.

During the January-March period, official data show, Bangladeshi expatriates sent Taka 2,673.99 crore through the agent banking channel, which was Taka 1,982.02 crore in the October to December quarter.

"Agent banking is moving fast across the country...it is providing banking services by engaging representatives under a valid agency agreement," Additional Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) M Hashem Chowdhury told BSS today.

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 said.

The central bank launched agent banking in 2013 by giving license to Bank Asia. A total of 20 commercial banks have already taken licenses from Bangladesh Bank while 16 banks are running their activities across the country.

The commercial 16 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, The Premier Bank, United Commercial Bank Limited and AB Bank.