Experts said wider institutional coverage and less costly products are needed to increase financial inclusion of marginal people in Bangladesh.
“The country has only banks, microfinance institutions and mobile financial services to deliver financial services. But we need to the number of institutions to boost financial inclusion drive,” said MA Baqui Khalily, a retired professor of Dhaka University Finance Department.
He was speaking at a session on financial inclusion at the two-day conference “The Bangladesh Journey: Accelerating Transformation” in Dhaka on Monday. Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies organised the event.
In his key-note speech, BIDS Senior Research Fellow Kazi Iqbal said: “Inadequate financial institutions and their coverage, insufficient financial products and non-affordability of them are the barriers in expansion of financial services to low-income group.”
He called for formulating the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).
Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof Mustafizur Rahman moderated the session.
Bangladesh Bank Chief Economist Dr Faisal, CPD Research Director Fahmida Khatun and Dhaka Bank Managing Director Syed Mahbubur Rahman were also present as panellists.
Former central bank chief economist Biru Paksha Paul said Bangladesh has to concentrate on using capital market to spearhead the drive of financial inclusion, as the capital market is a major part of the financial sector.