The women employment rate in the banking sector went down to 12.91 percent in 2016 from 13.73 percent a year earlier.
The ratio of female executives occupying higher ranks in the sector is also negligible, according to a study revealed at a workshop yesterday.
The Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) released the study titled 'Human Resource Management of Banks 2016' at its premises in the capital.
The survey was conducted on 25 sample banks out of a total of 57 banks in the country.
The ratio of female executives in senior positions was 8.56 percent in 2016. It was 5.37 percent for departmental heads and 8.62 percent as branch managers, according to the study.
Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, supernumerary professor of the BIBM, differed with the findings of the survey. He said the number of female employees in the banking sector is rising fast, but not in line with the number of their male counterparts as fewer women join the job market.
He said the women employee rate was 6 percent when he became managing director of Pubali Bank in 2005, and it improved to over 20 percent when he left the bank in 2014.
Mohammad Tazul Islam, associate professor of the BIBM, who conducted the survey, said the number of female employees in the banking sector is negligible. The study did not focus on the reasons for their low employment rate.
In addition, the ratio of employees in the 40-50 years age group decreased, while the above 50 years age group increased in 2016. This was due to a lack of leadership succession planning and promotions, he added.
The study found that banks are reluctant to spend on training with the training expense as a percentage of total operating expenses were only 0.50 percent last year. The average training expense per employee was Tk 3,000 in 2016, unchanged from the previous year.
Banks allocate insignificant amounts for training purposes and are reluctant to send employees abroad for training, said Chowdhury.
Banks will have to increase its allocation on training to improve the quality of their human capital, he added.
Banks spend more on recovering money from defaulters than training, said Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank.
The default loan rate at the private banks is 5 percent, while it is over 20 percent for the state banks, as employees of private banks are more efficient than those at the the state banks.
According to the survey, 71 percent of the banks did not conduct any psychological test in 2016, while 52 percent banks carried out an analysis on employee's ethical conduct.
Islam of the BIBM said a psychological test is a powerful process to get a better idea about a candidate, which will help reduce scams in the sector.
The financial performance per employee in the banking sector deteriorated in 2016 compared to the previous year, due to poor human resource management and a high default rate in the industry, according to the survey.
Per employee operating income dropped to Tk 1.11 million in 2016 from Tk 1.51 million in 2015. It was Tk 4.71 million in 2014, survey data shows.
The study finds that the average salary and allowances to total income and expenses decreased while the average managing director's annual salary increased from Tk 8.73 million in 2015 to Tk 9.31 million in 2016, data shows.
Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan, deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, addressed the workshop as chief guest while Toufic Ahmad Choudhury, director general of the BIBM, moderated the session.