A partnership agreement has been signed between Swisscontact and the City Bank Limited for the implementation of Sarathi – Progress through Financial Inclusion.
The deal signing ceremony was held at The City Bank Limited head office in Dhaka on 23 May 2018, according to a press release.
Sarathi – Progress through Financial Inclusion is a 30-month project (Jan 2018-Jun 2020), jointly funded by MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact. It is working with commercial banks and Ready-Made Garments (RMG) factories in Bangladesh to bring RMG workers, especially women, within the sphere of formal banking services and to enable them to conduct financial transactions as account holders and clients.
The project activities are directed to find market-based and scalable solutions that address underlying constraints such as inadequate financial literacy; lack of access to formal banking services; and inadequate commercially viable business solutions for banks to cater to their needs, it said.
Under this partnership agreement, Sarathi will work with The City Bank Limited to digitize the payroll system in RMG factories for RMG workers through cost-effective alternative delivery channels such as Agent Banking, ATMs, biometric machines and tabs located inside the RMG factories, etc. There will also be financial literacy campaigns and introduction of salary accounts, savings and loan products specially designed to reflect the needs of the RMG workers, the release said.
Mashrur Arefin, Additional Managing Director, The City Bank Limited and Kazi Mahfuz Mamtazur Rahman, Team Leader, Sarathi signed the partnership agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Finance Officer; Kazi Azizur Rahman, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Information Officer; Mr. Quazi Mortuza Ali, Head of Agent Banking; Mr Muhammad Zakaria Karim, Manager, Agent Liabilities, Agent Banking; and Mohammad Monirul Islam, Senior Manager Agent Monitoring, Agent Banking were present, among others, representing The City Bank Limited. Ms Syeda Ishrat Fatema, Intervention Manager, Sarathi and Mr Obaidur Rahman, Coordinator-MRM, Sarathi were also present on behalf of Swisscontact.