4:53 pm - Saturday May 24, 2358

22pc Bangladeshi adults have bank accounts

Only 22 per cent adults of Bangladesh have bank accounts and almost half of them lie dormant, says a report.

According to a survey on financial behaviour, Bangladesh is 6th among seven countries – Nigeria, India, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan – in the number of adults with bank accounts, reports the Dhaka Tribune.

But the country stands 4th after Nigeria, India and Kenya in adult active bank account rate of 12% and its dormancy rate is second highest more than countries like Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda. The account dormancy or inactive bank account rate is highest in India (47%).

Bangladesh BankThe survey, compiled by the Financial Inclusion Insights program, operated by Washington based global strategic research consultancy InterMedia, and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has assessed in its 2014 cross-country survey on financial behaviour.

The report published recently noted most people including Bangladeshis, save money through a bank, but in Pakistan, where access to banks is limited, the preferred saving methods are cash and commodities.

“The findings will hopefully mobilise further innovation in the sector and promote the potential of digital technology in ensuring that people have an access to financial services,” said InterMedia’s Research Manager for India Gayatri Murthy.

The information contained in this study will enable policy makers, regulators and bankers to identify priorities to improve financial inclusion, design initiatives to push the inclusion agenda, and most importantly, measure the progress made, he said.

The survey also evaluated access and use of formal financial services, mobile devices, mobile money services, as well as barriers and potential for future use.

According to the report, Bangladesh has 18% bank account holders, followed by Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan, but India leads the number of bank account holders with 48%, followed by Nigeria and Kenya, it said.