Agrani Bank Ltd is moving forward with the aim to be the best financial institution in the country. The bank has been expanding modern technology-based banking services for the last few years, said Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam, Managing Director and CEO of Agrani Bank.
Exchanging views with Bangladesh Post, he said: “Presently all the 962 branches of the bank perform real-time online banking becoming largest bank in Bangladesh in terms of tech-based service delivery.”
Twenty-four-hour banking services are available at 3,197 ATM booths across the country. Agrani Bank has set up agent banking service, named ‘Agrani Duar’ aiming to take the banking services to people in remotest parts of the country. Presently the bank has 400 agents, Shams-Ul Islam added.
He said the bank renders all the services of BEFTN, RTGS, e-Tendering, e-GP, A-Challan, e-Nothi and SMS alert services.
The CEO of Agrani Bank Ltd said: “In the last 5 years of my tenure, we have brought some exemplary changes in this bank which have been widely acknowledged.”
“Till August 2016, the deposit of Agrani Bank was about Tk 49,000 crore which increased in the last 5 years up to Tk 109,000 crore, meaning another Tk 51,000 crore in the 5 years of time under my leadership.”
“The figure of my balance sheet has been about Tk 1 lakh crore which was earlier like 60 to 65,000 crore. Advance has increased remarkably. The non-performing loan (NPL) was 29 percent which has now come down to 12 to 13 percent. During my period from the year 2016, it came down comparatively below 3 percent. Although the total NPL ratio is 12 or 13 percent, during my period it has become 3 percent. Now the question remains why it is high. It is the legacy; meaning the sequence of old ratio,” he added.
Shams-Ul Islam said, “Some of the big corporate houses that are prominent in the country’s industrialization and commercial activities like City Group, PHP Group, PRAN Group, Envoy Group, Labib Group, Noman Group, Mohammadi Group had never come to this bank earlier, but since my joining the bank, I have inspired them and tried hard, and finally many of them have come to Agrani Bank.”
“Even Beximco Group’s Salman F. Rahman also speaks highly of me. Beximco Group banked with Agrani Bank with high satisfaction. Actually Beximco Group has contributed a lot to establishing corporate culture in Bangladesh,” Islam added.
He said: “I believe that, suppose today if you come to talk about women empowerment, foreign exchange earnings, and industrialization everywhere, the leading public bank like Agrani Bank has got a huge contribution”.
He further mentioned that they have distributed loans of Tk. 3 lakh for each person to go abroad without any security for three years. “Well, now you can see many of the expatriates are getting back home, so as they are coming back and have contributed significantly in earning foreign currencies for the nation. Now again we have stood by them by providing another loan named ‘Probashider Ghore Fera Rin’. This is also without any security, where we provide Tk 10-15 lakh at only 7 percent rate of interest.”
“Aiming to boost exports and attract better clients, Agrani Bank has introduced a new scheme named Agrani Bank Rebates Loan (ARL). We have created the opportunity for prominent customers under this scheme for loans at only 7 percent interest. Normal rate of interest is 9 percent, but they will enjoy a 2 percent rebate,” the CEO added.
He said this is how they had been attracting the good customers, and providing small scale loans under micro finance, as well as separate packages for women or SME entrepreneurs.
“For the war wounded freedom fighters, we are providing credit facilities at a flexible interest rate, so we have many stories to tell. We have made our efforts to create the aesthetic values within the premises of our bank.
Actually setting up ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ at the institutions is my thinking which has now been much publicised and followed by all, everywhere.
At Agrani Bank, we have sculptures of Bangbandhu and also a portrait of him which is multidimensional, because its color is always changeable automatically.”
“We also have set up an e-book on Bangbandhu at our ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ and the pages of this book turn automatically; it’s a digital book which has attracted a lot of visitors.”