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Trade, commerce becoming slow

Sayeed Arman, Senior Correspondent |
Update: 2013-09-07 23:26:41
Trade, commerce becoming slow

DHAKA: The country has been passing through restless time during last 6 months. Next 6 months will go through uncertainties. The face of the government will change. The government next to come in any form will perform the responsibilities. New government will be installed through election.

Under these circumstances the entrepreneurs will not go for investment. All kinds of businesses have become sluggish forcing the businesses become defaulters. They are failing to repay the loan they took from banks.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of National Credit and Commerce Bank Limited (NCC Bank) Mohammed Nurul Amin told this during his talks with Bangalnews.

He is also the chairman of the chief executives of the scheduled banks’ Association of the Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) Limited. Recently this professional and experience banker met with Banglanews in an exclusive interview at the bank’s corporate office.

Nurul Amin started his banking career in 1977.  During the last 35 years he held many important positions in different banks. The interview was taken by banglanews Senior Correspondent Sayeed Arman accompanied by Senior Photo Correspondent Jibon Amir.

nurulBanglanews: As a financial investment organization NCC bank started its activities in 1985. In 1993 NCC started the functions of a bank formally. Would you kindly tell us the beginning of the NCC Bank?

Nurul Amin: Exactly, before banking functions it was a financial institution. At that time it made small investments. It could not go for corporate investment earning a meager profit. But in 1992 Bangladesh Investment Company (BIC) was closed. The closure of BIC led to heavy pressure on NCC. At this backdrop the NCC taking approval next year started its banking functions. From then it did not look behind. There was no dearth of work.

Banglanews: This institution has crossed 20 years of its journey. As a private bank what contributions it has made in our economy. Would you please tell us about its growth in two decades.

Nurul Amin: NCC bank started its journey with sixteen branches. Our branches will exceed the number 100 at the end of the current year. From sixteen to century, there is no field left where we did not make investment. We have investment in all sectors like agriculture, cottage industry, SME corporate sector and industrial sector. Taka 100 crore deposit has reached Taka 10 thousand crore now. The credit and advance now stand at Taka 8 thousand 2 hundred crore. We made profit of Taka 400 crore last year. We also expect good profit in current year. At present our investment in SME is 45 percent. Our compliance is 100 percent. However our defaulting loans with other banks have increased a little more than previous times.

Banglanews: You have mentioned about increasing of defaulting loan. In banking sector the amount of defaulting loan has reached to an alarming stage. As a professional banker what is your opinion about it?

Nurul Amin: Everybody knows about it. The country has passed in a restless situation during last six months. There is hesitation as it will go through uncertainties in next six months. The face of the government will change. The tenure of one government will come to an end. In any form next interim government will hold office. A new government will be installed through election. Under these circumstances the investors will not take risks of investments. The trading and commercial activities have stalled. Exports and imports have become sluggish. They have lost the capacity of repayment of loans. They cannot repay the loans. nurul

Banglanews: According to new banking law the banks are forming risk management committees. Bangladesh Bank (BB) will give policy for the committees. As a professional banker you have worked with risk management committee on many occasions. What is your suggestions about the committee?

Nurul Amin: You have raised a good point. We are waiting for the instructions of Bangladesh Bank. We must keep in mind that the management must take the liabilities for banking functions. The board of directors is responsible for the policy. There is a 5 member committee in each bank for good governance. The board of directors cannot run the bank properly only holding meetings. So the risk management committees should be formed with 3 to 5 directors who understand banking risks. But it should be formed for workable not for the sake of forming committee only.
Banglanews: What changes you have noticed in banking sector during last five years?

Nurul Amin: There are many changes which happened. But most important was the use of information technology. The banking sector is now dependent on technology. Both the customer and banker are using it. Once Bangladesh Bank was lagging behind. But now they are on lead. Radical changes have taken place in agriculture and small loans. Money flows have increased in these sectors. Though these sectors are not profitable for the banks. Still for the interests of BB governor the banks are patronizing these sectors. For this reason Bangladesh has progressed in implementing inclusive economy. Many changes have come in the supervision and good governance policies which are very much positive.

Banglanews: You have mentioned about supervision and good governance. But many say that the central bank has failed to supervise with strong hand. What you will say?

Nurul Amin: From the back ground of some incidents it can be said that these are unfortunate. It is unfortunate and unexpected for banking sector, also for the bankers. Because of these irregularities took place using the banks. Recognized banking model was used. Had there been proper internal banking supervision these incidents could not happen. In collusion of some dishonest officials these incidents occurred. We must learn from it. I think that moral learning is necessary for the bankers. You must keep in mind that banking business runs on confidence. We should not allow the incidents which erodes confidence.

nurulBanglanews: Our reserve is now at high mark. There are discussions about using it in production oriented sectors. What is your recommendation?   

Nurul Amin: First of all it should be kept in mind that who is owner of this property. It is the property of our exporters and of the expatriates who keeping their loving faces here are working abroad for money. So it cannot be used according to somebody’s sweet will. And there is no scope for it. It is meant for meeting state coffer deficit. However for taking foreign loan this reserve can be used. But I am not in favor of direct investment. Some say that for Padma bridge construction this reserve dollar can be given. But this is not government money. It is the property of sate. Can the government take or BB can give it. You are to give equal amount of money against the dollar. Moreover whether there is a system of taking dollar in this way.

Banglanews: How you are contributing to exports, imports and in remittance?

Nurul Amin: From the very inception NCC bank is contributing to these important sectors. We are dealing import and export trade ranging from Taka 7 thousand to 10 thousand crores every year. About 25 crore dollar remittances is coming in the country annually. We have agreements with 40 exchange houses abroad. We have 350 corresponding organizations. Only we have remittance pact with Japan reflecting positive impacts on our economy.

Banglanews: There are allegations that the board of directors are interfering in the management of banks. What is your opinion?

Nurul Amin: I don’t like to make comments on heresy. We must run as per law and as per instructions of Bangladesh Bank. The management board must work for good governance. But whenever any management board interferes as controlling authority the BB must look into it. Actions shall have to be taken.
Banglanews: You often say that the banks face lot of trouble with the primary dealer (PD) banks. Can the trouble be lessened if the nine foreign banks functioning in our country be made PD.nurul

Nurul Amin: Still there is liquidity. So there is no hue and cry. The problems of the PD banks are untold. But the foreign banks do not come. They show the logic that they have come for money market not for implementing government policy. So they are not ready to give loan to the government. But in many foreign countries the foreign banks are bound to work as PD.

Banglanews: I draw the curtain with social responsibility matter. BB has given instructions to the banks to open account with Taka 10 only for the readymade garments (RMG) workers. Has ABB taken any initiative regarding it?

Nurul Amin: Yes, the ABB has discussed the matter. If state owned banks open account with Taka 10 we have taken decision to open account with Taka 100. Moreover there is a collective plan to ensure mobile banking services for the RMG workers.  

Banglanews: Thanks for giving time for Banglanews.

Nurul Amin: Thank you also.

BDST:  0917 HRS, SEP 08, 2013
Edited by Shahjahan                                

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