BB report reveals grim picture of 7 months: Govt banks’ remittance drops by 30pc


Kamruzzaman Bablu :
Expatriate income through banking channels has seen continuous growth since October 2023. In January, marking the first month of this year, expatriate income reached a record high.

Despite this surge, the four state-owned banks (SOBs) have not made a significant contribution to this increase.

The remittance collection by state-owned banks declined by 30 percent in the first seven months of the fiscal year 2023-24.

Specifically, remittance collection at Sonali and Agrani Bank halved over these seven months, as highlighted in the latest report by Bangladesh Bank.

According to data from the Central Bank, the country received a total of $1973 million in remittances through banking channels in July, the first month of the current fiscal year (2023-24).

Out of this, $244 million was contributed by the state-owned Agrani, Janata, Sonali, Rupali, and Basic Banks.

Conversely, in January, the seventh month of FY 2023-24, the total remittance received through banking channels was $2100 million, with state-owned banks contributing $171 million.

This indicates a decrease of $73 million or 30 percent from state banks compared to July.

An analysis of the data reveals that among the six state-owned banks, five, excluding Bangladesh Development Bank Limited (BDBL), handle remittance collections.


Agrani Bank, historically among the top three for remittance collection and previously the leader, has seen a decline in its remittance inflows.

In July, Agrani Bank’s remittance was $123 million, which fell to $67 million by January 2024, halving the bank’s remittance from the starting amount, and significantly lower than the $50 million received in the preceding three months. Janata Bank, on the other hand, saw a slight increase in remittances, from $63 million in July to $75 million in January.

Rupali Bank, typically receiving less in remittances, experienced a significant drop from $11 million in July to just $4 million in January. Sonali Bank, key for importing government goods, also saw a decrease from $45 million in July to $25 million in January.

Basic Bank’s remittance inflow is generally low, and BDBL, while not receiving large amounts, saw a slight decrease from $1.16 million in July to $1.07 million in January.

Rezaul Karim, Deputy General Manager in charge of Agrani Bank’s Remittance Department, expressed concerns on Wednesday, stating, “Our bank has struggled to collect remittances while adhering to regulations.” He added that the increasing competition among banks collecting remittances exacerbates the challenge.

A bank official, preferring anonymity, mentioned, “State-owned banks are facing difficulties due to the central bank’s policy of purchasing dollars at high rates and selling them at lower rates.”

It was reported that January of this year saw a total of $2100.95 million in remittances, surpassing the figures from January of the previous year, which stood at approximately $195.89 million. Specifically, in January, state-owned commercial banks brought in $171.93 million, specialized banks contributed $69.81 million, private commercial banks accounted for $1852.63 million, and foreign banks added $0.658 million.

In December of the current fiscal year, the country received approximately $1989.87 million in remittances, showing an increase from $193.40 million in the previous month.

Remittances in October 2022-23 FY were approximately $1971.43 million, with September, August, and July receiving $1334.35 million, $1599.45 million, and $1973.15 million, respectively.