Md. Ataur Rahman Prodhan
CEO & Managing Director
Sonali Bank Limited
In 1971, at the behest of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the best Bengali nation of all time, the people of this country jumped into the great war of independence. As a result, Bangladesh has been placed on the world map as an independent sovereign state through just nine months of bloody war. The country is now 50 years plus old. A few days ago, Bangladesh celebrated the golden jubilee of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, Independence, and Victory.
We have also observed the golden jubilee of Sonali Bank Limited, the largest state-owned commercial bank with the largest network in Bangladesh, without cutting off the traces of celebrating the Mujib Year and the golden jubilee of independence and victory. Following the Bangladesh Bank’s Order 1972, Presidential Order No. 26, the then “National Bank of Pakistan,” “The Bank of Bahawalpur” and “Premier Bank Limited” aimed at building ‘Sonar Bangla’ cherished by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and started the journey of Sonali Bank with its liabilities and assets. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman himself named the bank Sonali Bank after jute, the largest commodity for earning foreign exchange in Bangladesh.
Sonali Bank has started its journey with the conviction of building the golden Bengal of the dream of the Father of the nation and has reached today’s golden position by crossing various ups and downs in the last 50 years. Today we can proudly claim that no other organization in Bangladesh has such a vast network. Sonali Bank has always been a reliable and strong friend to all the people of all walks of life in remote villages, islands, haors, and remote hilly areas beyond the city port.
Today, Sonali Bank’s multifaceted contribution is universally acknowledged. Over time, new formations are emerging in the economic and social spheres in the domestic and international context. In modern times, the bank is considered one of the most important institutions in the daily life of men and women of all walks of life. According to the demands of the time, all new concepts in economic activities are also developing. The application of modern information technology has started a revolutionary chapter in financial management.
On this auspicious day of Suborno Joyonti, every employee of Sonali Bank is overwhelmed, proud, and full of emotion. Sonali Bank has achieved a lot in the last 50 years. Success, prosperity, and the confidence and trust of 160 million people have overcome all obstacles and adversity. Today, with great pride and joy, we can unhesitatingly claim that Sonali Bank has always taken timely strategies and steps to reach the pinnacle of progress and development by overcoming the steps of success and prosperity in keeping pace with the changing times. The competitive banking system with long experience, past tradition, reputation, confidence, commitment to uninterrupted service to all classes of people, assurance of progressive modern banking services, etc., and the promise of providing up-to-date banking services.
Those who are working in the 1226 branches of this bank across the country are providing financial services for the welfare of millions of people in this country in various ways every day. At present, Sonali Bank is considered the closest bank to the people of this country. Over a long period, this bank has got a huge staff of experienced, talented, honest, hardworking, dedicated, innovative, and innovative people who have been recognized as the best bankers in the country and have earned respect and love from all. On this auspicious occasion of Subarnajayanti, I remember their brilliant contribution with utmost respect and love. There was a deep respect for all of them. To reach this position today, they have enriched Sonali Bank by making significant contributions at different times.
Since its inception, Sonali Bank has been playing a powerful role in improving the living standards of the people of Bangladesh by developing their socio-economic development and poverty alleviation, self-reliance, and a strong economy. The large-scale participation of this bank in agriculture, industry, foreign trade, import-export, communication, power generation, creation of new entrepreneurs, etc. has become a place of strong confidence in the overall economy today. Today, Sonali Bank is considered a symbol of trust and confidence by all as the top bank in the state-owned banking sector. Sonali Bank’s scope of work is not limited to conducting profit-oriented business activities only.
Now the bank is providing financial services, including various allowances under various government social security programs. Sonali Bank has already made incredible progress in conducting technology-based banking activities to meet the demands of modern times. At present, all the branches of this bank are conducting online banking activities. Sonali e-Wallet, one of Sonali Bank’s technology-based banking activities initiatives, has already aroused a wide response among the customers. This mobile app has started to play an important role in forming the ‘Cashless Society .’In addition to direct transactions in mobile banking through link accounts, a ‘cross-border’ payment network called ‘Bays’ has been launched for expatriates through which remittances can be sent to 36 bank accounts, including Sonali Bank accounts from abroad, in just 5 seconds. This is the first such banking service in South Asia.
Sonali Bank has not closed its doors even during the last two years due to the global epidemic of coronavirus, which has been providing uninterrupted banking services to its customers. Even without coming to the bank branch, the customer has fully availed of digital banking services. We set a goal of becoming self-sufficient in technology in 5 years. Surprisingly, most of the hard work of the last two years has already been completed. CBS Online Banking, receiving Various Services at Home, overseas Remittances now is the time for virtual and smart banking.
They are ensuring nonstop banking services now through CBS. Employees at all levels of the bank risked their lives to provide banking services during the COVID pandemic. We have lost 33 colleagues of Sonali Bank in doing this difficult task. Many have returned from the brink of death due to coronary heart disease. We remember their immense contribution with respect, gratitude, and sympathy. Sonali Bank has played a leading role in implementing the financial incentive program announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to revive and revitalize the economy affected by the COVID pandemic. This is the largest commercial bank in Bangladesh that has already reached its target following the government guidelines during the pandemic period. Sonali Bank is at the forefront in lending to large government projects like Bangladesh Biman, Payra Port Authority, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant etc.
Over the past several years, there have been breakthroughs in implementing the joint action plan of the competent management and the wise board of directors. The Board of Directors of Sonali Bank has highly skilled, wise, talented, honest, courageous, and highly experienced members in the professional field. The management has taken the bank to a strong position by properly implementing their wise guidelines and bold and constructive decisions. As a result, Sonali Bank’s non-performing loans have come down much more than before. Transparency has been ensured in various administrative activities of the bank, including loan disbursement. The number of loss-making branches of the bank has decreased significantly. Sonali Bank’s triumph continues despite the severe crisis and disaster in Corona. Sonali Bank has now reached the top after implementing the strong oath of Mujib Borsho. Not only in terms of service delivery but also terms of profit, our glorious organization is at the top. Sonali Bank has made a record operating profit of Tk 2,205 crore in 2021. At the end of the last 2020, the operating profit of this bank was 2153 crore rupees.
People who work at Sonali Bank are like a family. The management authorities are always vigilant and aware of the overall welfare of the Sonali family. They are showing enough sincerity in resolving the complaints or problems of the bank’s staff. In the last few years, there has been a resurgence of comfort in this field by removing all the complications created in the past. As a result, an excellent work ethic has been created among the officers and employees of all levels. A kind of awakening has been created in everyone to work dedicatedly for the prosperity and success of the bank. The bright expression of which is going to be noticed in the picture of improvement in various indices.
Sonali Bank’s deposit amount in 2021 is 1 lakh 35 thousand 19 crore taka, and the loan amount is 69 thousand 11 crore taka. Compared to last 2020, deposits increased by Tk 9,140 crore in 2021, and loans increased by 10,388 crores. All of us who work at Sonali Bank is like a family. Therefore, the management authorities are always vigilant and aware of the overall welfare of the Sonali family.
Bangladesh has crossed over from Qatar, an underdeveloped country. Bangladesh is now a developing country in Qatar. Our dear Bangladesh is moving forward by crossing various prosperity steps in irresistible progress. Under the able and strong leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the successful embodiment of development, the economy of Bangladesh is getting stronger and stronger. Sonali Bank Limited is also moving forward as a bank with a large network as a partner in the development of Bangladesh. As the head of government, Sonali Bank has always received support from various government quarters, including the Prime Minister.
We are getting special assistance from the Hon’ble Prime Minister for any need for this bank. I want to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to her for this festive moment of Suborno Jayanti. Today’s memorable moment, I especially remember Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; this great statesman named this bank Sonali Bank after gaining independence with utmost affection and special enthusiasm. He was convinced that this bank would one day contribute to the realization of his dream Sonar Bangla. Today, on this auspicious occasion of celebrating the Golden Jubilee, we would like to proudly say that Sonali Bank has successfully realized the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, Sonar Bangla.
As the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh, Sonali Bank Limited has maintained its excellence in various fields; we firmly believe that the tradition, reputation, and success will continue in the future. The effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have revolutionized the world economy, industry, trade, and commerce. There will be many challenges in providing the best customer service in the light of new times and new contexts by better assimilating the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
I hope that Sonali Bank will be able to hold the top position by tackling those challenges well inshallah. I firmly believe that Sonali Bank will go a long way in harnessing the existing opportunities and potential by formulating appropriate plans and using talent, skills, experience, honesty, dedication, and innovative ability in its implementation. Based on the success achieved, the bank will expand modern banking services for the welfare of the country and the nation by facing all kinds of challenges in the future and will set new examples of success and prosperity day by day. We have to fulfill our responsibilities with devotion.
On this auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to the entire country on behalf of Sonali Bank Limited. The contribution of our fellow citizens in reaching this stage today is no less. Today, the name of Sonali Bank as a companion in various needs in every household of Bangladesh is uttered with the utmost affection as a symbol of many trusts. For this, our chest is filled with much pride.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and best wishes to all the customers and well-wishers of Sonali Bank. We always think of them as part of the golden family. Lastly, congratulations and best wishes to all the staff and honorary members of the Board of Directors of Sonali Bank Limited. I hope everyone has a healthy and safe, beautiful life.
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