Banking sector play a role in our economic stability


Motahar Hossain :

The banking sector is playing a unique role in ending unemployment, improving the living standard of the rural population and alleviating poverty through industrialization and job creation in the country.

Especially Shariah-based Islamic banks, since their inception, have created an opportunity to involve the backward and poor segment of the society in income-generating activities with interest-free and collateral-free small investments.

The rate of realization of these small investments of Islami Bank is almost 100%. Consequently, the borrowers are enjoying socio-economic development.

However, in the case of NGO loans, the beneficiaries and the borrowers have had a harrowing experience with high interest lending by NGOs, for using Kabliwala method in debt collection.

Non-payment of NGO loans led to borrower suicides, domestic turmoil, divorce, lawsuits, harassment, occupation of house for debt recovery, confiscation of livestock etc. Defaulted borrowers fled their home to get rid of the debt cycle.

There are numerous inhumane incidents of purposeful raiding. On the other hand, Shariah-based Islami Bank has become a humanitarian bank in the country’s banking sector as a reliable refuge for the poor, helpless, day laborers, maids, nannies, rickshaw drivers, and low-income people.

Apart from big borrowers, these small clients also get investment easily. Many of these borrowers are now self-reliant In 1983, Islami Bank started the first Shariah-based banking operations in the country.

Due to cordial service with honesty from the outset, this bank started to gain the trust of customers in the remote areas rapidly. Besides, in 1995, IBB PLC became the first bank in the country to introduce the practice of opening bank accounts with just Taka 10.

At present, more than 1.7 million people in 33 thousand villages of the country are members of Islami Bank’s Rural Development Scheme (RDS) and hold such accounts. Among them, about 91% to 92% account holders are women.

Islami Bank RDS is a popular, welfare oriented, humanitarian and successful scheme. This scheme has brought happiness and prosperity in the lives of these families with the support of collateral free investment.

Besides, by introducing agent banking in the remote areas of the country, the marginalized people of the country have been included in banking services easily. After Bangladesh Bank allowed this specialized banking service in 2013, until September 2023, about two crore seven lakh deposit accounts have been opened under a total of 21 thousand 448 agent outlets across the country, of which about 86 percent are rural customers.

To ensure the financial security of these customers, Bangladesh Bank has formulated ‘Prudential Guidelines for Agent Banking Operations in Bangladesh-2017’ for the banks involved in agent banking. Following this, Islami Bank’s Agent Banking started operations on July 15, 2017.


Although the agent banking activities of this bank started a little late, it experienced rapid growth in the trust and acceptance of customers. Islami Bank agent banking is providing modern banking services in 468 upazilas nationwide through 2 thousand 759 outlets. So far 42 lakh 81 thousand accounts have been opened in the agent outlets where the amount of deposit is Tk 14 thousand 200 crores.

The agent banking system has created an opportunity for people in remote areas of the country to avail banking services. The customers are availing different types of services just like the branches. Agent outlets are providing comprehensive service of all types of utility bills and insurance premium collection.

The daily transaction of the agents of this bank is more than one thousand crore taka. Relatives of expatriates can easily withdraw foreign remittances through the vast network of this bank. This bank simultaneously enjoys the top position in remittance collection and in agent banking services in the country.

In 2023, Islami Bank agent banking brought foreign remittances of Tk 13,845 crore to customers, which is more than 50 percent of the agent banking remittances in the country. On some days, the daily remittances are over Tk 120 crores.
Islami Bank Agent Banking provides customer service using modern technology in accordance with all the rules and regulations of the Central Bank.

For example, ensuring services through Bangla QR code, increasing digital connectivity of customers, API-based online transaction initiatives of fast moving consumer goods companies and other companies are opening new doors in agent banking services. Moreover, customer deposits and transactions are made 100% safe through ‘two factor authentication’ by using OTP and biometric fingerprint etc.

Already 138 agent outlets of Islami Bank have started distribution of investment under the bank’s rural development project. More than Tk 700 crore has been invested through these agent outlets. An average of 1.5 lakh customers is taking services through the agents of Islami Bank every day.

Withdrawal of cash on POS and other bank cards, strengthening e-KYC activities, cashing in and cashing out through Cellfin, providing social security allowance and ability to handle other transactions have brought revolutionary changes in agent banking in the country.

All the banking activities of Islami Bank are going on successfully in branches and sub-branches of the bank. The amount of deposits and investments is increasing. The bank’s deposits stand at 1 lakh 52 thousand 500 crores, which was Tk. 1 lakh 41 thousand 2 hundred crores on December 2022. Compared to December 2022, deposits have increased by Tk 11 thousand crore. This amount of deposits is the highest among all public and private banks of the country. The bank is moving forward at a constant speed with unconditional love of nearly 2 crore customers in the country and abroad, and will continue to move forward.

Islami Bank’s rural development projects and agent banking services have already gained people’s confidence accelerating the motion of rural economy. Islami Bank is a unique bank for remittance collection, financing of government development projects, agricultural development, poverty alleviation, employment generation, education and medical assistance.

Being jealous of the progress and success of this bank, a circle has indulged in various conspiracies including propaganda. Basically; this conspiracy aims to destroy the economic stability of the country by destroying the financial discipline. Banking sector is like blood flow in the body.

A positive attitude towards banks and financial institutions is essential for economic development, progress, employment generation and poverty alleviation.

(Writer: Motahar Hossain is a senior journalist)