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Interview with MD: Agrani Bank shines as customers’ trust grows

  • Anisul Islam Noor
  • 4th September, 2021 09:16:09 PM
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Interview with MD: Agrani Bank shines as customers’ trust grows

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Despite the pandemic, the state-owned Agrani Bank has been able to reduce its non-performing loans to 13.43 percent from 29 percent and become the third bank with trillion-taka deposit.

Shams-Ul Islam, managing director and CEO of Agrani Bank, shared the bank’s achievements and future goals with the daily sun in an exclusive interview.

On June 30, the bank achieved Tk1.4 trillion deposit becoming the third bank of the country with this milestone.

“Inspired by the trust of our customers, we plan to be the number one bank ensuring quality and customer-friendly service in every sector and in every branch of the bank,” Agrani Bank CEO articulated with a confident tone.

“Agrani Bank had 29 percent of non-performing loans four years ago. After the hard work of all our employees, we have gradually been able to reduce it to 13.43 percent in June this year,” he said.

The average rate of outstanding loans in the country’s state-owned banks is above 23 percent.

The CEO said, “The bank’s advance loan and loan disbursement have also increased during the last two years.”

In 2019, the advance and loan of Agrani Bank was Tk 460.5 billion which has increased to Tk 543.85 billion in June this year.

 “We are aware of making a balance between cost and profit. Now the bank has been able to make a profit of Tk3 billion in the first half of this calendar year,” he said.

About hitting the milestone of deposit, Shams-Ul Islam said, “This is because the customers put trust on us.”

 Earlier, state-owned Sonali Bank and private Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited became the members of the trillion-taka deposit club.

Agrani Bank has been offering 5 to 6 percent interest rate on term deposit.

CEO said this would benefit the pensioners and their families on their deposits during the pandemic.

The bank achieved credibility and customers’ trust providing reasonable interest rate on the deposits during the pandemic which helped it reach the milestone, he said.

About Padma Bridge funds, Shams-Ul Islam said the Agrani Bank alone has supplied $1.4 billion so far to the Padma Bridge project as per its commitment.

Agrani Bank signed an MoU with Bangladesh Bank so that it can have a sufficient supply of dollars and meet the foreign currency requirement for the Padma Bridge project.

“However, we so far didn’t need any single dollar from Bangladesh Bank for the project,” the CEO said.

“After the World Bank’s withdrawal of fund, the Agrani Bank has placed top priority to supply dollars to Padma Bridge that Prime Minister is committed to implement,” said Shams-Ul Islam.

The bank is also has been providing 3 percent “hassle-free incentive” against inward remittance, he said.

As of July, Agrani Bank alone received 10.15 percent of the country’s total remittance channeled through the banks, CEO said. “Agrani Bank also invested in 15 power plants which now add around 1700 MW of electricity to the national grid,” Shams-Ul Islam said.

Replying to a query as to stimulus packages, he said, “We got an allocation of Tk 29.15 billion in the first phase of five stimulus packages and disbursed Tk27.08 billion or 93 percent of that allocation as of June.”

Agrani Bank disbursed Tk9.77 billion among the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) till June this year against the target of Tk9.5 billion, achieving 105 percent disbursement of the target, the CEO said.

Bangladesh Bank will offer special thanks to 13 bank for achieving high success in CMSMEs loan disbursement. Agrani Bank is the only state-owned bank among them.