Islami Bank remains top remittance collector
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL) retained its top spot as the biggest remittance collector as it brought home the highest amount of funds sent home by migrant workers in January-March of 2023, official figures showed.
The largest Shariah-compliant bank in Bangladesh fetched $1.14 billion during the quarter, which accounted for 20.55 per cent of the $5.54 billion of remittance the country received during the three-month period, central bank data showed.
Agrani Bank, Pubali Bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, The City Bank, Social Islami Bank, Mercantile Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, Sonali Bank, and National Bank were among the top remittance recipient banks during the quarter.
In January-March, private commercial banks received $4.63 billion in remittances, accounting for 83.54 per cent of the total. This was up 19.21 per cent from the previous quarter and 16.05 per cent from the same quarter a year ago.
State-owned commercial banks collected $766.16 million in remittances, which was 13.83 per cent of the overall receipts. The inflows were 6.76 per cent lower than a quarter ago and 19.94 per cent lower than the same quarter in 2022.
Among the state-run banks, the highest amount was brought in by Agrani Bank as it channeled $343.80 million. Sonali Bank brought home $169.25 million.
Migrant workers sent $19.79 million through the nine foreign commercial banks operating in Bangladesh, with Standard Chartered fetching the highest $15.32 million.
Of the specialised banks, Bangladesh Krishi Bank received the highest amount of remittances at $126.17 million in the first quarter.
In January-March, Bangladesh received $867.31 million remittances from the United Arab Emirates, which was the single largest source of the funds. The second highest amount came from Saudi Arabia at $853.78 million.
Bangladeshi workers based in the Gulf countries -- Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman -- sent $931.22 million, which was 52.89 per cent of the total.
The workers living in various European countries remitted $868.57 million and those in the Asia-Pacific region transferred $471.90 million, according to the Bangladesh Bank data.
The number of people who went abroad in search of jobs has increased substantially in recent months. About 323,010 workers left the country during the quarter, said the BB in a report, citing data from the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
Of them, 122,572 left for Saudi Arabia, which constituted 37.95 per cent of the total, followed by Malaysia (25.66 per cent), Oman (14.35 per cent), the UAE (7.83 per cent), Singapore (3.81 per cent), Kuwait (2.40 per cent), and Qatar (2.02 per cent).
During the quarter, 24,922 female workers went to various countries as well.
Bangladesh's economy relies heavily on remittance, the second-biggest source of foreign currency earnings for the country. The receipts were 6.03 per cent of gross domestic product in 2020-21, but it fell to 4.56 per cent in the last financial year.