Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, has said that Bangladesh Bank has allowed digital banking without any proper guidelines.
“Two companies have got permission to operate digital banking without any proper guidelines. The regulator has permitted digital banking very quickly before the national polls. The central bank could have allowed digital banking after the general election with a proper analysis of digital banking,” he said while speaking at a workshop.
PRI organised the workshop titled ‘New Dimensions of Digital Financial Services in Bangladesh’ at its conference room in Dhaka on Sunday.
The economist also said even the central bank did not clearly explain how to operate it. On the other hand, corruption and irregularities had occurred in the banking sector in the country.
“Non-performing loan stood at Tk 156,000 crore in June 2023. As a result, the banking sector became unhealthy which was not expected. Moreover, the central bank should ensure that money laundering will not occur in digital banking,” he added.
“It might have occurred that anyone takes a loan from a digital bank and does not get it back. Then what will happen? Is it possible to get money back from them?” he questioned.
Ahsan H Mansur further said, “We had seen that the central bank did not prevent the bank's money. Influential people took loans from the banks and did not pay them back.”
“The digital bank has to be tech-based, and bKash has the capacity to operate new innovation,” he observed.
Dr MA Razzaque, Research Director of PRI, said, “Taka has depreciated by more than 30 per cent in the last two years. It's good for exporters at a certain time. Exporters are getting more taka against the USD. On the other hand, the inflation rate has increased in our country which is ultimately not efficient for the economy."
PRI Chairman Dr Zaidi Sattar made welcome remarks at the opening session while Dr Bazlul H Khondker, Director of PRI, presented a keynote paper on “Economic Impact of Digital Financial Services in Bangladesh: A Financial Social Accounting Matrix Approach.”
The Bangladesh Bank has approved digital banking this year. The decision was taken at a board meeting held at the central bank headquarters in Dhaka with BB Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder in the chair.
After that Bangladesh Bank granted digital banking licences to Nagad Digital Bank and Kori Digital PLC of ACI on Sunday. These two companies are expected to commence operations within six months.