Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The inter-bank call money rate remained almost stable on Thursday, the last working day before the Eid festival, despite higher withdrawal of cash from the banks, bankers said.

The call money rate ranged from 2.0 per cent to 5.0 per cent on the day against the previous rate of between 1.80 per cent and 5.0 per cent.

Most of the deals were settled at rates varying between 2.50 per cent and 4.50 per cent, according to the market operators.

However, the weighted average rate (WAR) on call money rose to 3.85 per cent from 3.73 per cent of the previous working day, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.

The call money rate maintained an upward trend since June 06 mainly due to higher withdrawal of cash money from the banks ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr vacation.

The WAR on call money was 3.44 per cent on June 06 last.

“The call money rate remained almost stable as the banks manage their funds efficiently ahead of the Eid,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the BBN in Dhaka.

However, the volume of overall transactions in the call money market remained nearly stable in recent days.
The volume of transactions in the inter-bank call money market came down to BDT 65.12 billion on Tuesday from BDT 70.29 billion of the previous working day, the BB data showed.

The available liquidity helped keep the money market stable despite higher pre-Eid withdrawal of cash from the banks, according to the senior bankers.

The overall excess liquidity with the banks shot up by nearly 11 per cent to around BDT 805 billion in April from BDT 727 billion a month ago as the BB slashed the cash reserve requirement (CRR).

On the other hand, the pressure on cash withdrawal from the banks is easing gradually as the uses of credit and debit cards, referred to as plastic money, are increasing in the country, they explained.

Besides, a significant number of people are now connected with mobile financial services, agent banking and e-banking that reduces the tendency of holding cash money to their wallets, they added.

Currently, some 9.5 million debit cards are being used across the country.

The number of issuing credit cards stood at around 1.0 million.

The central bank has already asked the banks for ensuring transactions through the smooth operations of alternative delivery channels (ADCs) round the clock during the Eid vacation.

Such channels cover the operations of Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Point of Sale (POS), e-Payment Gateway and Mobile Financial Services (MFS).

Transactions using the digital channels such as ATM, internet or online and mobile normally go up significantly on the weekend and holidays.

Currently, more than 9,600 ATM booths are now in operation across the country, of which the Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) alone operates around 4,500.

The banks must inform their clients about any amount of transactions using ATM and POS by sending SMS (Short Message Service), the BB circular added.