Top 5 Savings Accounts in Bangladesh (2020)
Bangladesh remains a relatively difficult to bank in country that’s significantly behind most countries, including neighboring developing countries, and thus finding good savings accounts are quite troublesome.
We’ll only be covering accounts I would personally consider using and that I believe to be trustworthy and safe to use. I say this as personally I do not trust all banks and their solvency, and I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their savings because of the incompetence of a badly ran bank even if it means a slightly higher interest rate or more convenient locations around Bangladesh.
My Favorite Overall Bangladeshi Savings Account: JBL's Savings Deposit
I’d say this is the account I’d recommend for most people — it has an extremely good interest rate (around 6% yearly) without any withdrawal limits and you can find JBL banks throughout all of Bangladesh.
You can get comparable rates if you lock up your money in term-deposits (bonds) at most banks in bangladesh, however that’ll make you unable to access your money for multiple months or even years, which to me just isn’t worth the risk of inflation or liquidity-issues. I’d rather have the funds accessible immediately like they are with JBL’s savings account. You can check the current interest rate JBL’s savings account provides on their website by clicking here.
Best Islamic Savings Account: Islami Bank's Mudaraba Savings Account
If you’re looking for a Shari’a compliant bank then I’d say this is your best bet — due to being a Shari’a compliant bank they do not offer strict gauranteed rates, as this is not possible when following shari’a guidelines. However from what we’ve been told and experienced rates are generally around 3 to 4% annually on this account, which is a bit below the annual inflation rate in Bangladesh currently.
Unless you want to follow strict Shari’a banking principles I’d recommend one of the other banks in this list as they offer better rates and are generally more accessible throughout Bangladesh.
You can download the forms to open this bank account on their website by clicking here.
Best Savings Account for Rural Folks: Grameen Bank
Grameen is a non-traditional bank that’s operated quite oddly and sometimes in a predatory way depending on the location. I’m including it as its the only bank available to many rural folks in Bangladesh and offers fantastic 8%+ interest rates in some cases…the problem is it comes with some extra risks due to the banking behaviors of Grameen (unsecured loans).
Be careful banking with Grameen as well, as they often push outrageous loans on their clients, pretending to be helpful and friendly, only to stick you with a loan you cannot repay while pressuring you to repay it by any means and shaming you if you cannot.
Unfortunately if you live in rural Bangladesh and don’t have transport or documentation for a better bank there’s no other option than Grameen — which may mean it’s better to simply save by buying physical goods such as silver that hold their value over the long-term.
An Overall Good Alternative to JBL's Account: Sonali Bank
Sonali Bank is available throughout almost everywhere in Bangladesh and has one of the better interest rates, between 3.5% and 7% depending on the account and the balances you have with them, which puts them above a lot of the other banks in Bangladesh. The only real downside compared to JBL’s Savings Account is that the interest rate is slightly lower — overall they’re pretty much equal in my opinion in terms of customer service and financial solvency/trustworthiness.
They change their offerings quite consistently, so make sure to check the current rate on their website before going into a branch/location to open an account.
Best Account For East-Bangladesh Residents: Dutch-Bangla Bank
This is probably one of the safest bank’s in Bangladesh, although their interest rate isn’t quite as high as the other options mentioned here. This is due to them being heavily influenced by western-banking practices which are generally greedier and less giving to their clients. Rates are generally around 1% to 5% depending on the account/profession you can get.
There are positives to this account though beyond safety/trustworthiness — they have fantastic online banking technology, better than pretty much all banks in Bangladesh, and more advanced banking services such as credit cards and relatively reasonable property lending/financing options.