Sonali Bank to be ideal one in couple of years: Muhith
Published : 03 Feb 2018, 19:25:00
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Saturday expressed his firm optimism that So nali Bank Limited, country's largest stateowned commercial bank, would establish itself as an ideal bank within a couple of years.
"I've earlier said that we'll turn Sonali Bank into an ideal bank. It's unlikely by 2019. But it's my firm belief that in a couple of years, it should be again back to such position (ideal bank) to render one of the greatest services to the government and also one of the greatest services to the banking sector," he said.
The minister was addressing the Annual Meeti ng-2018 of the Sonali Bank Limited held at the auditorium of Institution of Diploma Engineers,Bangladesh (IDEB) in the city's Karail area.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, Bank and Financial Institutions Division Secretary
Yunusur Rahman spoke on the occasion, presided over by Sonali Bank Ltd Chairman Md Ashraful Moqbul.
Sonali Bank CEO and Managing Director Md. Obayed Ullah Al Masud gave the address of welcome.
Expressing again his dissatisfactio n over the weaknesses of the banking sector, Muhith said: "I'm not at all happy about it and I often admit thatthe banking sector has weaknesses,"
But, if the b anking sector of 1972-1976 and 1981 is compared with the present context, he, however, said the banking sector is now going through a'golden era.'
Echoing with the other speakers, the finance minister said the Sonali Bnak has rebound in 2017 while the year 2018 would be a year of moving forward for
the country's largest nationalized commercial bank.
Referring to the demand of the Sonali Bank chairman of realizing service charges for the Taka 94,000 crore L/C that it opened against the Rooppur
Nuclear Power Plant Project alongside necessary steps to address its capital deficit, Muhith said the government would consider these demands with utmost
importance and sympathy.
Underscoring the need for properly following the Know Your Customer (KYC) formula, the minister also suggested the bank high ups to properly examine
and asses a loan project proposal before giving approval.
Mentioning that some 181 branches of Sonali Bank are still incurring losses out of its overall 1211 branches across the country, Muhith said this
number is a bit high and suggested the bank authorities to change their locations so that those branches could cover their areas properly.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir suggested for undertaking a time-bound action plan to gradually making those branches profitable which are incurring
losses over the years.
He also suggested the Bank for providing loans without any fear following rules and proper assessment, strengthening the loan realization measures
before filing cases against the defaulters, creating entrepreneurs through providing start-up capitals, creating compliance culture and ensuring the practice of proper risk management.
Highlighting the successes of the macro economy and the banking sector over the last nine years, Banking Division Secretary Yunusur Rahman said the
size of GDP rose by 181 percent to Taka 20, 00,000 lakh crore in 2017 which is only Taka 7, 00,000 lakh crore in 2008, the number of bank accounts rose
by 118 percent to 8.17 crore in 2017 which was only 3.76 crore in 2008.
He also informed that the number of loan recipients increased by 218 percent to 2.74 crore in 2017 which was 86 lakh in 2008.-BSS