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‘Citizens Bank promises tech-enabled innovative banking’

MD and CEO Mohammad Masoom tells the Daily Sun

  • Anisul Islam Noor
  • 26 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
‘Citizens Bank promises tech-enabled innovative banking’

Citizens Bank PLC, one of the country’s newest banks, will soon roll out its operations to offer new and innovative banking products.

Citizens Bank received the licence as a scheduled bank on December 15 in 2020.

 In an exclusive interview with the Daily Sun, Citizens Bank’s Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohammad Masoom shared his insights on the bank’s short and long-term plans and different issues of the banking sector.

The banking sector has long been in the thick of stiff competition and at the same time, this sector has played a critically important role to resuscitate the trade and commerce of the country as almost all the enterprises suffered a lot due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

“Any adverse movement of the financial health of industrial counterparties will have corollary effects on the health of the business portfolio of banks. Bangladesh Bank, taking into consideration the consequences impact of the pandemic has given deferral on regulatory matters related to the management of credit portfolio and so virtually banking sector has been passing through a phase of regulatory forbearance,” he added. Mohammad Masoom noted that in the midst of this challenging situation, Citizens Bank has taken all preparations to launch its commercial operations as the 61st bank in the country with a slogan “Today, Tomorrow, Together” as an organizational philosophy from the visionary perception.

He said though there are different opinions regarding the necessity of so many banks in the present context, the sustainability of any banking financial institution is largely dependent on their respective coping strategy and what extent of innovativeness they will adopt in their path to make their position competitive and sustainable.

 “We don’t want to be conventional lender rather intend to be a partner in the progress of our borrowers. We shall remain associated with them both in sunny and rainy days, we shall have to be adequately convinced that the borrowers concerned don’t happen to be the willful defaulters,” he opined.

Regarding the management board of the new bank, Mohammad Masoom said Citizens Bank’s management board is comprised of highly credible and learned business persons having a good reputation in their respective arenas.

Bangladesh is a country of 170 million people and the per capita income has taken reasonable upturns and there is a strong middle class that can be treated as the driving force for the economy, he said.

Replying to a query regarding inclusion banking, he said, “Still a significant portion of our populace remains unbanked, requiring a constructive intervention of the banking financial institutions. The younger generation makes up a significant portion of the country’s population. This demographic advantage still remains unearthed in many respects. We want to see enterprising population to accelerate the pace of economic development.”

Citizens Bank is also contemplating launching befitting products for school banking and targeting the startup entrepreneurs to contribute in their own way to reorient the young generations to be the employers rather than to be the employees.

“As a new bank we perceive that we shall have to inch forward with strategic mindset with innovativeness to deliver financial services through a wider array of financial products covering deposits and lending for the clienteles across different segments,” he said.

The Citizens Bank’s MD and CEO said even though they will focus on SME segment which occupies a significant part in supply chain management and they want to proceed to finance in this thrust sector of the economy on a cluster basis wherein business prospect and cash flow will get due importance than collaterals.

“At the same time, the corporate segment will get its due share of importance in our policy perception.”

In this competitive challenging situation, he said “Citizens Bank from the very beginning prioritizes to be a tech-savvy bank and we want to ensure seamless integration between the finance and technology and thereby becoming one of the preferred financial institutions in the country.”