First Security Islami Bank Limited (FSIBL) is committed to meet need-based customers demand through introducing new product and services, the bank's top executive said.
The Shariah-based Islami bank has also put thrust on bringing the unbanked people into the banking network by boosting up the ongoing financial inclusion campaigns across the country.
"We've been continuously standardizing products and services considering the growing demand of our clients by using modern technologies," Syed Waseque Md. Ali, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank told the Financial Express (FE) in an exclusive interview recently ahead of the bank's 20th anniversary.
The Bank celebrated its 20th anniversary on Friday.
"The Bank has been able to bring over 1.6 million customers under the banking system through our strong core banking network. We have now 182 branches and 28 Agent Banking outlets across the country having correspondence banking relationship with 223 different renowned Banks across the world to serve the common masses. Besides we have a strong mobile banking and digital banking network to boost the financial inclusion programme," he said.
"We're delighted to share our 20th founding anniversary moments and we look forward to working with our stakeholders to further increase the dignity and reputation of our valued entity," the MD added.
"FSIBL has recently introduced a unique banking application service through smart phone based on Android & iOS which we named 'FSIBL cloud' a mobile app, developed by our own resources of ICT division. It has features like fund transfer within FSIBL, fund transfer through BEFTN & RTG, QR pay, mobile recharge, utility bill payment and many others."
FSIBL recently won the top award while collecting the utility bills of Dhaka WASA and rural electrification board.
"Our clients will be happy to note that our head office is moving to a new posh building at Rangs RD Center, Block-: SE (F), Plot: 3, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-1, Dhaka near our present location by the end of next month. The new building is more imposing and spacious to serve the clients better," the MD informed.
The private commercial bank (PCB) is also working to help develop entrepreneurship through promoting micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with enhancing finance in the thrust sectors, he added.
"We're also focusing women entrepreneurship and agriculture sector to facilitate improving the country's socio-economic condition," the MD explained.
The CEO also said mobile financial services and agent banking activities are playing important role to bring the unbanked people under the banking umbrella as well.
"We've now 182 branches and 28 agent banking outlets across the country having correspondence banking relationship with 223 different renowned banks across the world," he added.
Besides, the FSIBL has a strong mobile banking and digital banking network to boost the financial inclusion programme across the country.
Replying to a query, Mr. Ali said the FSIBL is also committed to comply with the principles of Shariah as well as regulatory requirements in the banking businesses properly.
"Our system of corporate governance provides the basis for the responsible management, transparency of processes and compliance to regulatory bodies with a focus on sustainable value creation," he noted.
The FSIBL is seriously emphasizing on social, ethical and eco-friendly investment practices in accordance with the green banking guidelines of the central bank, according to the CEO.
"Aside from banking activities, we've been trying to extend financial aid in health services, render education and alleviate poverty for the poor and meritorious students by proving scholarships with the underprivileged, helpless, neglected and lagged behind communities under corporate social responsibility (CSR) progarmmes," he explained.
The senior banker has highlighted different issues including good governance, major challenges and opportunities for the banking sector, future business plans of his bank during the interview.
"Right now, non-performing loans (NPL) is the biggest challenge for the banking sector, however FSIBL is not facing such problem as our board and management are working professionally and diligently to remain competitive in the market," the CEO said while replying to a query about the major challenges for the banking sector.
He also talked about the opportunity of the banking sector always remains very wide, if the sector is operated by professional and honest sponsors, shareholders and other stakeholders including the borrowers and depositors.
"The banking sector needs a proper and healthy eco-system where legal support in favour of congenial investment climate will remain present," the senior banker noted.
A section of powerful investment defaulters always take the legal protection in favour of them, so a thorough reform in the country's banking legal system should be implemented, according to the CEO.
The PCB obtained permission from the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to commence its business as a conventional bank on September 22, 1999.
Later it converted its operation into Islamic Shariah-based banking on January 1, 2009 from conventional one.
The FSIBL has two subsidiaries- First Security Islami Capital and Investment Limited and First Security Islami Exchange Italy SRL.