84pc of RMG workers unbanked: IFC
Around 84 percent of a 30 lakh garment workforce in Bangladesh remains without access to banking services, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said in a statement yesterday.
The report was a collaborative effort of UK's DFID, European Union, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, IFC-managed South Asia Enterprise Development Facility and Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, according to the statement.
Only 16 percent of the labour force in the $16 billion industry has bank accounts. This leads to most workers taking wages in cash and not being able to manage it better and running into hardships by the month-end.
M Abul Kashem, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, said it shows there is plenty of scope in providing banking services to the garments workers. Their savings can be kept for short- and long-term deposits to allow for better management, he said.
“IFC is working with a priority to provide low-cost banking services to this important sector of the society,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager for Bangladesh.
"The IFC Investment Climate and Sustainable Business Advisory Team is a good example in that respect," he added.
Kelhofer commented that the report has outlined a potential market for the banking sector.