The number of millionaire bank accounts in the country increased by 1,621 in the first three months of 2022 amid the global inflation threat fueled by the Russia-Ukraine war, according to the Bangladesh Bank.
At present, the number of millionaire accounts in the banking sector stands at 1,03,597, which was 1,01,976 at the end of December 2021.
When the coronavirus struck the country in March 2020, the number of accounts of individuals and institutions holding more than Tk1 crore in banks was 82,625. One year later, in September 2021, the number of such accounts exceeded 1 lakh, according to the central bank.
According to the central bank's Quarterly Scheduled Banks Statistics, the deposits in the millionaire bank accounts have increased by Tk9,647 crore in the first three months (January-March) of 2022.
As of March 2022, the total amount of deposit in the millionaire accounts stands at Tk6,63,505 crore. It was around Tk6,53,858 crore at the end of last year.
Economists observed that the central bank data could not include the real number of millionaires in the country as many of them still remain outside the bank account estimation.
"The number, on one hand, is evidence that the country is developing while on the other hand, it denotes inequality in the country has increased," they noted.
AB Mirza Azizul Islam, financial adviser of the last caretaker government, said, "The growth of the country is good. New factories are being set up and imports and exports are increasing. This means the profit is increasing, and so is the number of millionaires."
"However, the number of poor people is increasing at the same time which proves inequality in the country is on the rise as well," he remarked.
As per the BB data, the number of millionaire accounts is less than 1% of the total bank accounts, which holds about 44% of the total deposit.
Till March 2022, the total number of bank accounts stood at 12.73 crores with a deposit amounting to a total of Tk15,14,895 crore.
Bankers say, not all these millionaire bank accounts belong to individuals. Some of them are institutional accounts including accounts belonging to various government organisations.
In the last 10 years (2010-2019), the number of millionaires - with an asset value worth $50 lakh - in the country has increased at an average rate of 14.3%, the highest growth recorded in the world during the period.
In 1972, there were only 5 millionaires in the country which increased to 47 in 1975. In 1980, there were 98 millionaires in the country. The number was 943 in 1990, 2,594 in 1996, 5,162 in 2001, 8,887 in 2006 and 19,163 in 2008.