The number of bank customers with at least Tk1 crore in their accounts increased by 4,860 in the April-June period, with such accounts now holding 43% of the country's total bank deposits, according to a report of the Bangladesh Bank.
At the end of March this year, the number of bank accounts with crores of taka in the country was 1,03,597, which increased to 1,08,457 at the end of June – a 4.69% increase.
In March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, the number of accounts holding more than Tk1 crore in the banks was 82,625. According to the Bangladesh Bank data, the number of such accounts crossed one lakh in September 2021.
At the end of June this year, the amount of deposits in these accounts was Tk6,80,362 crores, up from Tk6,63,505 crores in March. The amount was Tk6,53,858 crore in such accounts at the end of December 2021.
According to the central bank, the number of accounts with at least Tk1 crore is not even 1% of the total bank accounts in the country, but they hold about 43.23% of the total deposits in the banks.
The total amount of deposits in the banks at the end of June this year was over Tk14,71,000 crore.
CPD distinguished fellow Prof Mustafizur Rahman told TBS, "During any calamity and crisis, one class suffers but another class makes a lot of profit, which is a reason for the rise in the number of accounts with crores of taka in a span of three months."
He said, "Income inequality in our country is also a reason for the rise of people with crores of taka. However, the real number of people with crores of taka cannot be determined from these reports, because many people launder money and deposit it in foreign banks. Besides, they are investing in various sectors without keeping the cash money in the bank and the amount of their wealth is not coming in these reports."
Bankers said not all bank accounts with crores taka are personal accounts as there are institutional accounts too. Various government institutions and organisations have accounts with crores of taka.
Currently there are 85,848 accounts with Tk1 crore to Tk5 crore. These accounts hold more than Tk1,76,000 crore, which is 11.24% of total deposits in the banks.
Besides, the number of accounts with over Tk50 crores is 1,805, which hold over Tk2,36,000 crores –15.05% of total deposits in the country's banks.
According to the Bangladesh Bank, there were only five accounts with crores of taka in the country in 1972, which increased to 47 in 1975.