Dhaka Bank Ltd. has determined for small and medium enterprises and retail clients as it looks to cement its position by reaching out to the under-served segments digitally, said Abdul Hai Sarker, Chairman of Dhaka Bank. At the time of inception in 1995, the Bank has relentlessly tried to speed up industrialization in Bangladesh. As a result, it played an active role in the country’s stellar economic growth. So, Dhaka Bank Targets on SMEs, Retails For Growth.
The lender celebrates its 27th founding anniversary on July 5, 2022, and has set a target to create entrepreneurs across the country by disbursing SME loans to ensure inclusive growth. Mr. Sarker said, “We not only disburse loans among small and medium enterprises. We also educate them on how to do banking efficiently.”
In December 2021, SME clients accounted for 12.01% of Dhaka Bank’s total outstanding loans of Tk. 21,415 crore. It has fixed a goal to increase SME lending to 25% by the fiscal year of 2024-25. “We are placing our highest concentration in SMEs as the number of corporate clients is limited,” He said.
Already, the Bank disburses loans among small businesses at the district level. In addition, the Bank is expanding its operation in the retail banking segment by rolling out several digital deposit and loan products and services. For instance, clients can open bank accounts at home using Dhaka Bank’s mobile application.
Thanks to the instant national identification card verification process by the central Bank, customers can instantly obtain their bank account number. “We have also taken the initiative to disburse retail loans among the customers who maintain salary accounts with us,” said Sarker, who completed post-graduation from the University of Dhaka in 1970.
Applicants can borrow Tk 25,000 within two hours after applying to the digital platform. The Bank has initiated a pilot program to implement the digital loan product, said Sarker, a former president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association. Dhaka Bank has 60,000 clients who maintain payroll accounts with the Bank.
According to the entrepreneur, many clients now prefer banking transactions without visiting branches. So, the Bank’s digital products will help them enjoy banking services without hassles. The lender is now focusing on beefing up its cybersecurity to keep hackers at bay. In addition, the private commercial Bank has strengthened its green banking program to address the ongoing climate change and help Bangladesh fight against global warming.
The Bank encourages environment-friendly businesses to borrow from our Bank. As a result, Dhaka Bank is one of the top lenders in the foreign exchange trade segment. The ratio of non-performing loans in the Bank stood at 3.32 percent in December, way lower than the industry average of 7.93 percent.
Mr. Sarker takes pride in the fact that the board does not intervene in the day-to-day running of the Bank, which has paved the way for Dhaka Bank to strengthen its position in the market. Over the years, the Bank won the heart of depositors thanks to sound corporate governance. As a result, deposits stood at Tk 23,041 crore last year, up 12 percent year-on-year.
He suggested that the central Bank make the lending rate cap flexible and follow a floating exchange rate. He added, “The economy is strong enough to maintain a flexible lending rate. We should follow the free-market economy in line with global standards.”
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