Social Islami Bank Agent Banking

Social Islami Bank Agent Banking 

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Social Islami Bank Agent Banking 

BACKGROUND:
Agent Banking provides banking and financial services to the underserved population through engaged agents under a valid agency agreement, rather than a teller/ cashier.  Agent banking is a new concept in Banking Industry of Bangladesh though Agent banking is very popular in many countries (viz. Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Pakistan, Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and India) for extending formal financial services into poor and rural areas.  Brazil is often recognized as a global pioneer in this area since it was an early adopter of the model and over the years has developed a mature network of agent banks covering more than 99% of the country’s municipalities. Bangladesh Bank has also decided to promote this Complimentary channel to reach to the poor segment of the society as well as existing bank customer with a range of financial services especially to geographically dispersed locations. The main object of Agent Banking is to create more protected financial inclusion by offering technology driven banking solutions to the unbanked people living in rural and dispersed people of Bangladesh.


LAUNCHING AGENT BANKING AT SIBL:
Social Islami Bank Ltd.(SIBL) has also launched Agent Banking services on 25th October, 2015 at Rangpur inaugurated by the honorable Governor of Bangladesh Bank. The Governor has handed over the license to the Rural Services Foundation (RSF) the first Agent of Social Islami Bank Ltd.  In the line of MOU between SIBL & RSF against Agent Banking we have already launched 61 outlets of Agent Banking in 32 districts of Bangladesh. After inauguration of Agent Banking operation, other 28 new Agent have been opened over the country and those altogether 89 Outlets are doing Agent Banking activities in their respective command areas. Hopefully gradually it will stand at 100 by the end of this year for serving real banking services at the doorstep of the unbanked people of Bangladesh.

SELECTION PRINCIPLES OF AN AGENT:
An individual must meet the following principles to qualify as Agent of SIBL:

  • He / she must be Bangladeshi national
  • Minimum educational qualification is HSC
  • Must have financial soundness and cash handling capability
  • Must have ability to offer technology based financial services
  • Must have excellent business reputation in his locality and must be honest, professional and ethical to his/her duties
  • Must have competency to implement and support the Agent Banking activities
  • Must have ability to meet commitments with customers under any situation
  • Must be concern about the reputation of the Social Islami Bank
  • Should not be an Investment Defaulter of any Bank
  • Must maintain a Current Account with the Link Branch since the date of Agreement

NON ELIGIBILITY OF AN AGENT:

  • Bank related persons as defined in section 26M of the Bank-Company Act, 1991. Bank officials will not be eligible to become an agent in the same bank within 1 (one) year of his/her retirement or resignation.
  • Defaulters with any bank or financial institution.
  • Bankrupts.
  • Convicted by a court of law, up to 3 (three) years after completion of sentences or penalties.
  • Under investigation for any criminal charges.
  • Under investigation or convicted of money laundering or terrorist financing activities.
  • Under investigation of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

TARGET CUSTOMERS:

The main target customers are:

  • Rural families having one member working in different cities.
  • Rural families having one member working in abroad.
  • Rural families have members studying in the city.
  • Farmers who buys fertilizers and seeds from distant market.
  • Farmers who normally do contract farming.
  • Rural families who receive funds from different national and international NGOs.
  • Freedom fighters and other group who receives grant from the government.
  • Workers participating in food for work program of Bangladesh Government.
  • Government Primary School, College and Madrasa.
  • Rural people having no account on Banking Relationship with any bank.
  • Rural women capable and interested to do small farming e.g. Duck, Chicken, goat etc.

PERMISSIBLE SERVICES OF AGENT BANKING:

  1. Collection of small value cash deposits and cash withdrawals (ceiling should be determined by Bangladesh Bank from time to time).
  2. Inward foreign remittance disbursement.
  1. Facilitating small value investment disbursement and recovery of investment installments.
  1. Facilitating utility bill payment.
  1. Cash payment under social safety net programmer of the Government.
  1. Facilitating fund transfer (ceiling should be determined by Bangladesh Bank from time to time).
  1. Balance inquiry, receiving of clearing cheque.
  1. Collection and processing of forms/documents related to account opening, Investment application, credit and debit card application from clients.
  1. Post sanction monitoring of Investments and follow up recovery.
  1. Other functions like collection of insurance premium including micro insurance etc.

RECENT KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

A] SIBG Profit distribution to the Link Branches
B] REB Bill Collection through Agent Banking Outlets

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES: 

  • Enter into agent banking contract with more than one bank.
  • Operate or carry out an electronic transaction when there is communication failure/error in the system
  • Carry out a transaction when a transactional receipt or acknowledgement cannot be generated
  • Charge customers directly any fee beyond banks’ prescribed fees
  • Offer any type of guarantee in favor of any customer
  • Offer banking services on its own accord (provide banking services on its own account similar to those provided by it under an agency contract) or offer services that the principal is not authorized to offer
  • Continue with the agency business when it has a criminal record or disciplinary case involving fraud, dishonesty or any other financial impropriety
  • Provide, render or hold itself out to be providing or rendering any financial service which is not specifically permitted in the contract
  • Open accounts, grant loans or carry out any appraisal function for purposes of opening an account or granting of a loan or any other facility
  • Make debit or credit transactions using cheque
  • Transact in foreign currency
  • Representing the bank in any means to a third party without written consent from the bank
  • Be run or managed by a bank’s employee or its associate.

AML / CFT REQUIREMENTS:

  • Banks and its agents shall have to comply with the prevailing AML/CFT related laws, regulations and guidelines issued by Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) from time to time.
  • Banks shall have to follow KYC format issued by BFIU for the agent and customer. Banks will be responsible for authenticity of the KYC of all the customers and agents.
  • Banks shall ensure that suspected transactions can be isolated for subsequent investigation. Banks shall develop an IT based automated system and integrate the same with its agent banking system to generate suspicious transaction report (STR) and suspicious activity report (SAR) before introducing the services.
  • Banks shall immediately report to BFIU regarding any suspicious, unusual or doubtful transactions likely to be related to money laundering or terrorist financing activities.
  • Banks shall ensure that agents:
  • Identify customers with at least two characters like ID, PIN, password, ATM card, secret code or secret message while performing any transaction requiring identification;
  • Conduct agent banking strictly as per the transactional limits prescribed by the bank and the regulations.

C] Providing ID Card & Visiting Card to the Agent & its employees
D] Remittance processing through Agent Banking Division
E] Agent Banking Unit converted to Agent Banking Division

UP-COMING NEW FEATURES:

A] BEFTN & RTGS payment through Agent Banking Outlets
B] DPDC & DESCO Bill Collection through Agent Banking Outlets
C] Investment Product will be launched shortly

REMARKS :

All data of customers are maintained in central core banking server with sufficient backup and Disaster Recovery site. The customer may perform transactions in any agent booth as well as any branch of SIBL. As a result, if any agent fails to provide services the customers may get services from nearby agent booths and branches.
As per guideline of Bangladesh Bank, SIBL is expanding its branch network throughout the country at 1: 1 ratio of rural urban branch. The total bank branches at the end of December 2018 stands 155 in the various location of the country among which 72 are rural branches. Besides SIBL successfully implemented world renowned & sophisticated centralized Flex cube Core Banking Software which is functionally rich, fully integrated, real-time online banking application. The branch network and the Core Banking Software will help much to lunch Agent Banking which ultimately connect the un-banked people through the Authorized Agents and to provide the real -time online banking at the door step of rural people with latest Technology. The proactive board of directors and efficient and effective management of SIBL will always be one step ahead to mitigate every risk and uncertainty to continue its business including agent banking on going concern assumption basis. Hopefully at the end of 2019, we might able to open significant numbers of outlets in different parts of the country.
This vision will never materialize without enthusiastic effort of each and every Incumbent of our Branches. We truly believe that without your support, we couldn’t been ever reach the present height in the industry. In this respect, all the Branch Managers of SIBL, Head of the Departments, Executives & fellow colleagues are cordially requested to come forward and backing us to establish our footsteps each & every Thana of the country by sending New Proposals for Agent Banking Outlet.