The Financial Express

Premier Bank puts thrust on financial inclusion, digitisation

The bank's MD tells FE on 20th anniv

Reazul Karim Reazul Karim

The Premier Bank Ltd is putting all its efforts to move from a conventional bank with digital transformation, said its managing director M. Reazul Karim on Thursday.

In an interview with the Financial Express to mark the celebration of the bank's 20th anniversary today (Saturday), he said the bank is now focusing on SME and retail banking to sustain the growth trajectory attained, spurred by strict compliance of banking rules and digitisation process as well.

He said a bank has to include the masses in the banking channel for sustainable growth as they are the main drivers of the economy.

"On the other hand, targeting a few corporate groups becomes risky, as it always involves a large amount of money, he said adding that the bank didn't provide loan to any big corporate client in last one year.

"Many big corporate houses have become loan defaulters intentionally. We  usually receive many big loan proposals but don't show any interest in them," he said, adding that bank is not an ideal place for long-term large loans.

He said the bank's Cottage, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CMSMEs) sector loan has already reached to 50 per cent of total credit and it will grow more.

The bank has planned to open 5,00,000 new accounts within next one year to expand banking in rural areas and set up agent banking outlets across the country to serve the teeming millions.

It wants to reach 500 booths for booth banking by the end of this year as a plan to reach to masses.

"Besides this, school banking, special accounts for students who want to study in abroad to make the bank a people's bank has been successfully launched by the bank," he said.

The Premier Bank MD said they have taken a lot of initiative to go digital and cashless.

The bank introduced mobile banking application "pmoney", a complete banking solution. Customers of Premier Bank will now just need to use the 'pmoney' app to get a panoramic view of their finances.

'pmoney' is designed to make banking easy and comfortable, which will help it customers to do banking, bills pay, fund transfer, products, mobile top-up, web-interface, EMI Partners, my QR code, discount partners, merchant payment, service request, beneficiary management, locate PBL, Information and links, mail notification and other admissible banking services.

'Premier Bank will continue to innovate and bring in exciting products and services to the market to make everyone's banking transaction - quick, simple and digital," he said. '

The Premier Bank MD said the bank management wants to make the bank compliant, rather than only profit making.

"Only making profit or giving out loans is not the priority of the Premier Bank. Promoting the quality and healthy banking practice is now our topmost priority," said the bank's MD.

Mr Karim said Premier Bank is planning to reduce its non-performing loans to zero per cent.

Currently, NPL in the bank is 4.0 per cent, which is very low in respect to many of the private banks in the country.

The Premier Bank Limited is one of the third generation private commercial banks incorporated in Bangladesh in June 1999.

The bank's deposit has grown 21.71 per cent in last one year, loans and advances grew19.43 per cent, profit 25.07 per cent, import 31.70 per cent, export 22.24 per cent and remittance 53.99 per cent.


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