BRAC Bank’s Agent Banking Channel has completed five years of its journey, achieving several business milestones and playing an essential role in the financial inclusion of unbanked people.
Within this years, the bank has become first in loan disbursement, fourth in the numbers of Agents and outlets and sixth in the deposit portfolio.
A staggering BDT 12,500 crore SME loans have been disbursed through the bank’s Agent Banking Outlets, which constitutes 63% of the total of loans disbursed through the Agent Banking channel in the entire banking industry. The channel is also contributing to remittance inflow through legal channels, with BDT 2,300 crore processed in the last five years.
In a rapid nationwide expansion, the bank’s Agent Banking has reached all 64 districts with 1,040 AB Outlets, with 79% of the outlets located in rural areas. Agent Banking is also playing an important role in driving financial inclusion, especially for women, with 23% of the total of 3.58 lakh Agent Banking account holders being female. More than 70 female entrepreneurs work as agent partners and 600 as Agent Field Officers (AFO). Apart from employment generation, Agent Banking is driving financial literacy in rural Bangladesh, with more than 40,000 people participating in ‘Uthan Boithok’.
To celebrate the auspicious occasion, BRAC Bank organized its first National Conference of Agent Banking to formulate a strategy and roadmap as the bank moves forward with the rapid network expansion drive of the alternate banking channel across the country. They discussed industry scenarios, field-level experiences, challenges and ways to overcome them at the daylong conference held on November 17, 2023.
M Masud Rana FCA, DMD and Chief Financial Officer; Md. Sabbir Hossain, DMD and Chief Operating Officer; Chowdhury Moinul Islam, DMD and CAMLCO; Nazmur Rahim, Head of Alternate Banking Channels; Md. Nazmul Hasan, Head of Agent Banking, and the entire team of Agent Banking from across the country attended the conference.
Commenting on the five-year journey of Agent Banking, Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director and CEO of BRAC Bank, said: “The vision of BRAC Bank is to bring the unbanked under the formal financial umbrella. Through this inclusive banking model, Agent Banking enables bringing in a large population out of formal banking services. The channel creates new employment opportunities and significantly uplifts the economy, especially in rural areas. We look forward to expanding the network in the coming years to serve the unbanked people in the country’s remotest areas.”