Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The Banking Fair Bangladesh-2015 appears as a good initiative for boosting the ongoing financial inclusion campaign through spreading financial literacy among the people.
Participants, visitors and experts made these observations as the fair, first of its kind in Bangladesh, concluded on Saturday evening at the Bangla Academy premises in the capital Dhaka.
They also proposed the authorities concerned for taking necessary to organise such fair in different parts of the country to bring un-banked people into the banking network.
The authorities should take necessary measures to arrange such fair at division, district and upzila level to raise public awareness about banking products and services, according to the visitors.
“The bankers should go to the customers for selling their products and services across the country instead of the capital Dhaka and Chittagong,” Alam, a private service holder, told BBN at the fair premises in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Most of the visitors at the fair are interested to avail loans from banks at lower interest rates for expansion of their businesses.
BBN reporters talked with a number of visitors and found that they were not satisfied with the offered interest rates on lending by the banks, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and consumer financing.
Most of the banks are now offering around 7.0 per cent interest rate on fixed deposit, while charging between 12 per cent 20 per cent on lending, according to the visitors.
On the other hand, a unique part of the fair was financial literacy progamme, bankers meet customers,’ debate and cultural function every evening.
There were several sessions on financial literacy at the fair where people get some basic understanding on different aspects of finance in a simple language.
Country’s top bankers faced customers at a programme titled ‘Bankers Meet Customers’ at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Hall in Bangla Academy in Dhaka on Friday.
At least 13 chief executive officers (CEOs) of different banks replied various queries relating to interest rates on both lending and deposits and foreign trade directly to their clients at the prigramme.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) Dr. Atiur Rahman and Deputy Governors of the BB Abul Quasem and Abu Hena Mohammed Razee Hassan also spoke at the programme.
At the programme, the central bank chief asked the CEOs of all the commercial banks to protect their customers’ interests without any negligence.
“The fair has offered an excellent opportunity for all, including the potential banking customers, students, and the working people of the society to learn about available banking products and services in a single platform,” an economist explained.
BB Governor Dr. Rahman inaugurated the fair on Tuesday last aiming to build a banking nation through boosting the ongoing financial inclusion campaign across the country.
All 56 scheduled banks, six non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) and seven financial services related organisations took part at the fair to display their products and services.