BB allows agent banking in municipal areas  

Banks can now operate “agent banking” in municipal (Pourashabha) areas alongside the rural areas.

A Bangladesh Bank (BB) circular Monday amended its previous circular where it had barred agent banking within metropolitan, city corporation and municipal areas.

Bangladesh BankThe Bangladesh Bank’s amended circular, was signed by its deputy general manager of Banking Regulation and Policy Department (BRDP) Anwarul Islam, reports UNB.

“But the bar on agent banking operation in metropolitan and city corporation areas will remain,” the circular said.

In another amended circular, the central bank said that the bank branches located in the metropolitan, city corporation and Ka and Kha categorized municipalities will be considered as “urban branch” and the bank branches located Ga categorized municipality areas and also union council areas will be considered as “rural branch.”

As per instruction of the Bangladesh Bank, different banks have introduced agent banking in rural areas as part of the government’s policy on financial inclusion.

Recently, the central bank also announced the “agent banking” guideline aimed at providing financial services to the people living in remote villages.

The main theme of the agent banking is to provide banking services like financial transaction through banking channel, money withdrawal and deposit through bank agents in the remote areas where the banks have no branches.

The initiative of the new banking system was introduced after seeing its success in many countries including Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.

According to the guideline any NGO or person, who has shop, would be appointed as banking agent for providing financial services to the clients on a limited scale.

The people would deposit and withdraw money, collect remittance and loan as well as pay utility bills through the agents. The state-owned Agrani and Krishi Banks have introduced the services on trial basis.