The commercial banks are now in a good shape to provide financial support to the business entrepreneurs as there is no liquidity crisis in banks right now, Agrani Bank Chairman Dr Zaid Bakht has said.
The Agrani Bank chairman shared his insights about the country’s current economic condition, business, investment and financial institutions in an exclusive interview with the Daily Sun.He said entrepreneurs are turning around with impressive growth and coming forward with new investment and expansion plans defying the impact of corona pandemic.
As their support system, financial institutions including Agrani Bank are providing support to the businesses, he added.
“As there is no liquidity crisis in both the state-owned and private banks, we are in a good position to support the businesses,” said Dr Zaid Bakht.
Since the start of corona pandemic, private banks are very much cautious while state-owned banks including Agrani Bank are ready to support any companies or entrepreneurs who have a very good track record, he added.
“Our strategy is to help the entrepreneurs who have a very good track record in past towards their business expansion. Our business people and entrepreneurs are very much hard-working and we have to be there to support them,” said the Agrani Bank Chairman.
He also said banks also need to support the business entities that are not in a good position right now for the sake of their existence.Referring to the government’s stimulus initiatives for economic recovery, Dr Zaid Bakht said the timely efforts have helped the country towards economic recovery and the economy will rebound fully soon.
Regarding Agrani Bank response in the stimulus package, he said they have implemented the government directives in disbursing loans under the stimulus package and paying wages to the workers from the funds.
“Following the instruction, Agrani Bank has disbursed most of its loans to the affected industries and service sector. We are slightly lagging behind in providing loans to the Small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he said, adding that they have taken steps to provide adequate loans to the corona-affected SMEs in the earliest time.
In the time of corona, many are thinking that there is less volume of investment in the country. But in reality, investors have adopted a wait and see policy.
Agrani Bank chairman observed that private banks are very much cautious in approving loans and they are not picking up the pace of their loan flow.
“In this situation, Agrani Bank is getting applications from new clients. We are receiving at least 5-7 new loan proposals from clients those were earlier the clients of private banks,” he said.
Mentioning the good credit flow supported by Agrani Bank, Dr Zaid Bakht said they are approving new loan proposals after a series of scrutiny.
Among the state-owned banks, Agrani Bank is now the top performer in export-import and remittance, he added.
Talking about the corona impact on the economy, the Agrani bank chairman said though the economy yet to recover from the economic fallout caused by corona.
“But the good thing is that Bangladesh has not faced that much impact as it had feared.”
“There is another risk of the second wave of corona and many European countries have already slowed down their economic activities,” he said, adding that Bangladesh should be ready for this.
The chairman also thinks if the government continues its initiatives, economic will remain steady and will be better with the passage of time.
About the loan default culture, Dr Zaid Bakht lauded the government’s efforts to reduce default loan in the country. “Owing to initiatives taken by the government, the loan default rate has been decreasing significantly.”
Talking about the service at state-owned banks, Agrani Bank chairman said the quality of service in state-owned banks has improved significantly with the help of modern technology.
“A total of 956 branches of Agrani Bank have been brought into a real time online service. Following the countrywide real-time service, many big business enterprises have started taking service from Agrani Bank,” he added.
The Agrani Bank chairman also said they are committed to improving the quality of services and introducing new and innovative services for the customers