The resilience of bank agents in Bangladesh through the COVID-19 pandemic

  • user by MSC
  • time Jan 28, 2022
  • calendar 1 min

Many banking agents struggled to stay afloat when the Bangladesh authority announced lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic period. However, they fought against all the odds and continued serving their communities, often by borrowing money from friends and family when banking branches were closed.

Bangladesh sanctioned and launched agent banking in 2013 to provide alternative and accessible banking services to its underserved and underprivileged population. As of 2021, 13,591 banking agents opened 11 million bank accounts through 18,314 banking outlets. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bangladesh imposed lockdowns and stay-at-home orders that prevented businesses, including banking agents, from generating income. Despite the hard barriers, like many other agents, 60% of Bank Asia agents did not stop operating even when the commercial branches were closed. They borrowed money from friends and family members to continue their banking operation and supported the government by disbursing assistance funds to vulnerable people.

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