Bangladesh wins CYFI country award 2015 for school banking
11 December 2015, Nirapad News: Bangladesh has won the Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) Country Award 2015 from Asia and the Pacific region for massive financial inclusion activities, particularly in the area of Bangladesh Bank’s mooted school banking.
Launched in 2010 by the central bank, school banking has emerged as one of the core components of the financial inclusion programmes in Bangladesh.
Last year, Singapore received the same award from this region. This year India and Fiji were two other nominated countries for the award, but finally Bangladesh won the crown.
The award was officially handed over by Valerie Georgina Howarth, Baroness Howarth of Breckland, OBE (Order of the British Empire), a renowned British politician and member of the House of Lords, at the 4th Annual CYFI Awards Ceremony, held at the House of Lords in London on Thursday. Bangladesh Bank (BB) Executive Director Md. Abdur Rahim received the award.
“This is another milestone achievement for Bangladesh branding her as a role model for financial inclusion”, Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said.
He added, “I see this award as a reaffirmation of our new approach of developmental central banking, significantly contributing towards ensuring a broad based, inclusive, and poverty free society led by our honorable Prime Minister”.
CYFI is a Europe based global network of 36 million children and youth across 125 countries that works for enhancing the financial capabilities of children and youth.
While conferring the award, Lady Howarth highly appreciated Bangladesh’s success towards embracing nearly one million school students into the formal financial system with significant deposit size, BB said in a press release issued today (Friday).
She said that despite being a developing country, Bangladesh is a pioneer in financial inclusion; the innovative multi-stakeholder approach of Bangladesh Bank has made the school banking programme a huge success.
Under the broader head of financial inclusion, Bangladesh Bank has been promoting rapid expansion of financial services, particularly for the excluded and underserved, to implement the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of ensuring broad based inclusive economic growth in Bangladesh, BB said in the release.
Under the school banking scheme, students can now open bank accounts with initial deposits of only Taka 100 with no charges or fees applicable on such accounts. More than 9,00,000 such accounts have been opened so far with total deposits of around Taka 700 crore.
Working street children have also been brought into the net of formal financial system in 2014 and parents can now pay the school fees for their children throw mobile financial services.
Earlier, Bangladesh Bank’s innovative inclusive financing programmes earned national and global accolades like by the Banker (a subsidiary of the Financial Times) and Euromoney magazine (a subsidiary of Euromoney), awarding Dr. Atiur Rahman as the ‘Best Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia’. He also received the International Gusi Peace Prize.