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Bangla banks launch agent banking

Bank Asia and Dutch-Bangla Bank started recruiting agents at the grassroots level to offer banking services through them. Two other banks – South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank and NRB Commercial Bank – are going to launch the service. Bangladesh’s central bank had issued licences to the four banks for running agent banking, under which financial services would be offered through agents instead of branches. Bangladesh Bank officials said Bank Asia had already appointed 49 agents in 32 upazilas under 17 districts while Dutch-Bangla recruited six agents. The central bank had issued a circular approving agent banking in the rural areas where banks have no branches. It has also allowed agent banking in urban areas not covered by traditional banking system. According to Bangladesh Bank, customers will not require to pay any charge for the services they will receive through the agents. Small amounts of money can be deposited or withdrawn besides receiving remittance through agent banking. The agents can disburse small credit and collect loan instalments and utility bills.An agent has to have the qualifications determined by the central bank and give a security deposit of Tk 100,000 for appointment.

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