The Commercial banks have recently launched fund-collection campaigns by offering new saving schemes with higher interest rates in a bid to tackle the prevailing liquidity crisis.
Bankers said they were offering higher interest rates to lure people to keep their savings in the banks.
Funds are needed to ward off liquidity crisis the banks are currently facing, they said.
A collapse of the country’s capital market has also pushed the banks to go for collecting more deposits, they said.
Prime Bank recently offered two fixed deposit schemes – Lakhpoti deposit scheme and Prime millionaire scheme – with interest rate ranging up to 13.50 per cent. The bank has also launched a double benefit scheme, which offers double the amount of saving after six years.
The new deposit schemes introduced by Standard Bank are Standard Bank regular income programme, three yearly programme, double income plus programme, which offers to return double the amount of saving of five or 10 lakh taka after six years, Lakhpoti Plus of two- to 10-year terms, and Millionaire programme of three- to 13-year terms.
Shahjalal Islami Bank has introduced double income scheme, which offers to return double the amount of saving after six years. The bank has also rescheduled its 12 existing deposit products by increasing the interest rates to a maximum of 14 per cent.
BRAC Bank introduced SME fixed deposit scheme in April, which offers payment of interest after three and six months.
Eastern Bank launched a new deposit scheme named ‘SME Equity Builder’ in April, offering to provide monthly interest on the savings amount.
NCC Bank has introduced double money scheme, offering a return double the savings amount after six years, special savings scheme of five- or 10-year term with higher interest, and Special Amanat scheme of 3-year tenure, which will provide Tk 1,000 as profit for Tk 1 lakh deposit.
Jamuna Bank has launched a number of saving schemes with new interest rates and facilities. It is offering Kotipoti deposit scheme of 10- to 18-year tenures, double increase scheme, offering a return double the savings amount after five, eight, and 10 years, and triple increase scheme, offering a return triple the savings amount of Tk 10,000 or more after nine years. The bank will provide free debit cards to any one who will open a deposit account.
Bangladesh Association of Banks chairman Nazrul Islam Mazumder said the banks had always been trying to support their clients.
‘The new deposit schemes will boost the banks’ confidence and the clients will be benefited,’ he said
He, however, cautioned that ‘The high deposit rate will create a pressure on the banks to increase their lending rates.’
Nazrul Islam also said, ‘The Bangladesh Bank’s move to increase the banks’ cash-reserve ratio compelled them to initiate more deposit programmes with higher interests.’
Abu Ahmed, a professor of economics at Dhaka University, said the present liquidity crisis forced banks to go for deposit collection drives.
‘The existing crisis in the capital market is also responsible for the situation,’ he said.
In his opinion, the Bangladesh Bank could have taken more initiatives to reduce the liquidity crisis in the banking sector.
According to the statistics of Bangladesh Bank, liquidity crisis in the banking sector began at the end of 2010. It has been becoming severe since January this year.
The liquidity crisis has also deepened due to country’s increased import cost. The country’s total import cost in the five nine months of the current fiscal year amounted to $24.17 billion against $17.19 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
The banks are allowed to disburse 81 per cent of their liquidity as loans and have keep 19 per cent in reserve.
At present the central bank’s foreign exchange reserve stands at $11,370 million.
The remittance inflow in the July-April period of the current fiscal year has declined to $9,587 million from $10,973 million in the corresponding period of FY2009-10.