June 22, 2012 (LBO) – International Finance Corporation, a member World Bank arm has said 86 percent of three million apparel sector workers in Bangladesh did not have bank accounts, potentially opening up a large new market for banks. “This report shows that there is a considerable opportunity in offering a range of financial services to ready-made garment workers so that they can save and manage their money more effectively, said Abul Quasem, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank was quoted as saying in an IFC statement.
A study by IFC managed agencies has found that only 14 percent of workers in the 16 billion US dollar industry had formal bank accounts and receive their salaries in cash.
They often end up in financial trouble before their next pay day.
The study suggests that the banks willing to bring services to the garment workers need to offer them at an affordable price and after work hours.
“Making financial services accessible and affordable to the marginalized is an IFC priority, Kyle Kelhofer, IFC country manager in Bangladesh said.
Factories should also explain to workers the benefits of managing their finances through banks, the report has suggested.