An online webinar titled “Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion: Knowledge Sharing Event” was held in the city on Monday.
Hosted by Swisscontact Bangladesh, the webinar focused on the project’s experience, challenges and achievements till date, said a press release.
The webinar took place on Zoom with representatives from commercial banks, Ready-Made Garment (RMG) factories, international RMG buyers, BKMEA, BGMEA, international buyers and other relevant stakeholders of financial inclusion participating as audience members.
The key segment of the event was the panel titled “Prospect of Financial Inclusion for RMG Workers in Bangladesh” moderated by Ms Syeda Ishrat Fatema, Team Leader of Sarathi; featuring Mr. Mohammad Hatem, 1st Vice President, BKMEA; Mr. Mohammad Abdul Momen, Director, BGMEA; Mr. Sarder Akhter Hamed, Senior Executive Vice President & Head of Channel Banking, Bank Asia Ltd.; Mr. Mohammad Mahbub Sobhan, Head of Business, Agent Banking Division, The City Bank Ltd.; Mr. Syed Faisal Omar Senior Executive VP & Head, International Division, Southeast Bank Ltd; Ms. Syeda Shaila Ashraf, General Manager-Human Resource, Renaissance Group (Millennium Textiles Ltd.); Mr. Kazy Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, South Asia Regional Sustainability Manager, Lindex HK Ltd. -Bangladesh Liaison Office.
The main topic discussed by all of the esteemed individuals above was the current financial inclusion landscape and how it needs to be adapted going forward to yield the most prospective outcome.
Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion is a 36-month (January 2018- December 2020) financial inclusion project, jointly funded by MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact that aims to bring the RMG workers, especially women, within the realm of formal banking services.
The project attempts to empower RMG workers by facilitating their involvement in conducting financial transactions as account holders and clients through wage digitization.
The project hosted the webinar after making major milestone achievements such as the opening of 66,000 RMG worker salary accounts, establishing 64 alternate delivery channels (ex: ATMs, agent points, mini branch, etc.) and reaching 17,000 RMG workers through financial literacy trainings.
The main purpose was to discuss the experiences of the project over the course of three years of its lifespan, and all of this information was disseminated through a presentation for the audience. Going forward, Sarathi hopes to lend its knowledge, through a variety of knowledge products and this webinar to help any party looking to participate to further the cause of financial inclusion in Bangladesh.
One such knowledge product, “Wage Digitization Manual for RMG Factories” presents the step by step process of wage digitization in an RMG factory.