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Bangladesh : BANK Asia, NRB Bank receives authorization for agent banking

June 1, 2014

Bangladesh Bank gave authorization to two banks to present agent-banking services, taking the banking sector one step forward in financial inclusion.

Bank Asia can select 30 agents and NRB Bank 20 agents to expand modern banking services to clients, as per to the central bank decision.

If the plan to offer services through agent banking is executed effectively, many small and medium enterprises will feel motivated to start businesses in rural areas, Anwarul Islam, deputy general manager of the central bank. Islam added that it will spur employment generation and the tendency of the rural population to move to urban areas will decrease.

On behalf of the banks, the agents can transact cash, distribute remittance, gather information for bank accounts, accept loan applications, transact and recover loans and receive applications for credit and debit cards.

Bank agents can in addition obtain utility bills and passport fees and distribute government assistance under social safety net programmes.

Bangladesh Bank said that however if the agent commits any irregularity, the bank will have to bear responsibility.

In agent banking, a third party signs an agreement with the bank and offers some banking services directly to the client on behalf of the bank.

In place of setting up branches, the agent banking system has been accepted in many countries as a means of financial inclusion, as per to the statement.

Agent banking has become famous in many developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Previous, Bank Asia launched agent banking under a pilot project by selecting eight agents in Sirajdikhan upazila, one in Louhajang and two in Srinagar in Munshiganj district. The agents have offered banking services to above 2,000 clients.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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