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Private banks lead the way

  • Published at 06:36 pm October 22nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:59 pm October 22nd, 2017
Private banks  lead the way
Private banks in Bangladesh have taken the lead in terms of adopting new technologies and innovative methods, so as to offer better and wider services to customers while simultaneously extending services to previously unbanked, rural customers. First introduced by Standard Chartered in 1994, and then massively scaled-up by DBBL, ATMs are now conveniently dotted throughout the cities. Credit and debit card usage has soared, and electronic banking has expanded significantly, with many in the banking sector foreseeing a “cashless” and “paperless” future where all banking services are digitised. Customers also seem to prefer private banks. The Bangladesh Bank’s school banking program -- launched in 2010 and designed specifically for students -- has so far created total deposits of over Tk1,000 crore, and over 82% of it is in private banks, showing a clear preference for the private banking sector. Aside from providing more reliable and efficient services, our private banks are using retail banking as a force for good, contributing to social and economic development in the process. BRAC Bank uses deposits from retail banking to fund small and medium-sized enterprises, which are known for driving inclusive economic growth and lifting a population out of poverty. However, a lack of skilled workers remains a significant barrier to progress in this sector. Even in this regard, our private banks are working to train future leaders to move the industry forward and thus creating positive externalities for all.