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Dhaka Tribune

Lending, deposits rise via agent banking in Nov'23

Deposits’ balance in agent banking outlets increased to Tk35,169 crore in November from Tk35,050 crore in October

Update : 28 Jan 2024, 07:31 PM

Deposits and lending through agent banking outlets in the country surged in November last year.

According to data from the Bangladesh Bank, deposits’ balance in agent banking outlets increased to Tk35,169 crore in November from Tk35,050 crore in October.

Lending through agent banking outlets rose by 5.56% in November against deposit growth of 0.33% in October.

According to the Bangladesh Bank data, the outlets disbursed Tk854.9 crore in November against their disbursement of Tk809 crore in the previous month.

The lending-to-deposit ratio indicates that agent banking window is serving banks’ purpose of lending more than that of deposit collection, the central bank report said.

Since access to finance is one of the key challenges of financial inclusion, lending through agent banking is explicitly beneficial for rural customers in developing countries, it also said in its quarterly report.

As of November 2023, rural customers received Tk565 crore or 66% of the total loans disbursed through agent banking channel.

According to the central bank data, the number of deposit accounts through agent banking was 2.11 crore as of November 2023.

The total number of agent banking deposit accounts held by men was 10,365,297, by women 10,503,850 and by others 325,600.

It indicates that more female customers are coming forward to opening accounts and getting almost equal access to the financial services through agent banking compared with male customers, the report further said.

The highest number of accounts and the highest amount of balance were in the form of savings.

Remittance collection through agents also increased in the reporting month.

At the end of November 2023, the amount of inward remittances through agent banking rose to Tk2,124 crore from Tk2,047 crore in October and Tk1,660 crore in September.

In November, the total number of transactions through agent banking outlets was 14,580,631.

Agent banking transactions decreased by Tk15.5 crore to reach Tk70,444 crore in November compared with that in the previous month.

The Bangladesh Bank introduced agent banking in 2013.

Compared with the traditional banking system, it is a less costly system where customers are able to receive various banking services on a real-time basis from the platform through an agent, the report said.

At present, 31 banks are operating agent banking activities in Bangladesh.

Of them, the top five banks registered more than 70% of the total outlets.

As of November 2023, the total number of agents and outlets were 15,581 and 21,506 respectively.

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