By AKM Kamaluddin Chowdhury
DHAKA, March 24, 2018 (BSS) - Redwan Hasan Himel, an eighth grade student, is cherishing a dream to be a doctor by depositing money in his school banking account, an initiative of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to create a savings habit among the students.
"Since my childhood, I have been receiving a good amount of money as gift from my near and dear ones as I'm the youngest member of my family," said Himel, who lives in Feni district town with two elder sisters.
He said he earlier spent money for purchasing unnecessary things. "But the situation has changed, when my father gave me an bank account opening form. Accordingly, I opened the account at Feni branch of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) in 2013. After that, I started depositing money in the account," Himel added.
In his account, Himel has already deposited over Taka 50,000. "I've a dream to bear all my higher education expenses from the deposited money after HSC examinations," he said.
Like Himel, Andalib Chowdhury, is also depositing money in his school banking account at the Southeast Bank Limited (SEBL) Corporate Branch from 2012.
"I've already deposited over Taka three lakh in my account. I want to take my higher education from abroad after completing higher secondary education. The deposited money will help meet expenses to study abroad," said Andalib, who was awarded by Bangladesh Bank in 2014 for depositing in school banking account.
Talking to BSS, a BB senior official said school banking is gradually getting huge response from the students across the country as deposits with this banking account at commercial banks have crossed Taka 1,300 crore at the end of December 2017.
The central bank's latest quarterly report on financial inclusion shows that a total of Taka 1,362.96 crore were deposited with 14,53,936 school banking accounts at 56 scheduled banks till December 31, 2017 which was Taka 1,020.79 crore with 12,57,370 school banking accounts till December 31, 2016.
According to the report, the school banking service is more popular in towns than in rural areas as 8,89,029 school banking accounts were opened in towns against 5,64,907 accounts in rural areas.
This banking is also more popular among the male students than the female students as 8,52,107 school banking accounts were opened by the male students against 6,01,829 accounts by the female students.
The BB official said the central bank launched the programme in November 2010 for school students to help them save up for the future, learn financial literacy at an early age and encourage the savings habit.
BB data shows that a total of Taka 164.63 crore have been deposited in state-owned commercial banks, Taka 81.45 crore deposited in specialized banks, Taka 1,107.31 crore in private commercial banks and Taka 9.58 crore in foreign commercial banks.
Dutch-Bangla Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh, Eastern Bank, United Commercial Bank and Rupali Bank are the five institutions that pulled most of the deposits from the students.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) opened 2,37,398 accounts, which is 16.33 percent of the total accounts, while Dutch Bangla Bank ranked the top by collecting deposits of Taka 406.72 crore with school banking accounts.
As per directives of the central bank, IBBL introduced the school banking, so that the future generation can acquire knowledge on financial system," said IBBL Deputy Managing Director Abu Reza Mohd. Yeahia.
SEBL Executive Vice President Abdul Baten Chowdhury said school banking encourages the students in creating a mindset for savings. "SEBL is extending all sorts of support to the students for opening bank accounts," he added.
Baten informed that about Taka 3.50 lakh have been deposited with the 58 school banking accounts at the principal branch of SEBL.