Banking Sector of Bangladesh is now in a passage of maturity and customer oriented. With the active initiatives of the Central Bank and other Regulatory Bodies, Banks are now under close supervision in their operations and working in a technology based environment. This enabled the Banks to satisfy the people at large promptly ensuring their satisfaction. It has also added to the competitiveness among the Banks to a great extent as well as opened up huge potentials to expand the services and network taking the sector to the doorstep of the huge population of the country residing in remote areas. People are now much aware about security of their hard earned money and look for a place that offers that security. It is aspired that in near future, a considerable portion of the people so far being out of reach of formal Banking activities will be benefited by availing services from among various product either directly or indirectly. Bangladesh Bank with its various people-friendly schemes like School banking, Tk.10 & Tk.50 accounts, Refinancing under Green Banking, RTGS, BEFTN etc is playing vital role in strengthening the bondage between Banks and people. Recently, an unprecedented event has been experienced by the People namely Banking Mela-2015. The programme emerged from the innovative ideas of Dr. Atiaur Rahman immediate past Hon'ble Governor of Bangladesh Bank. The Mela invoking the traditional fair of the rural Bangladesh, attracted huge attention of the people and helped the Banks to go to the potential clients with their products and services.
2015 was comparatively a peaceful year in terms of political situation. The people truly has a sense of relief in such a situation. But the market players i.e., investors and entrepreneurs have shown a passive mood in availing Bank's money to do their business during the year reflecting their doubt regarding the sustainability of this apparent peace. Banks had failed to disburse loans to the borrower as per their expectation resulting in reduced pace in advances growth. It was a compelling situation where all the Banks had to reduce rate of interest against various loans and advances several times bringing it to below double digit figures in many considerable instances. Side by side, to get rid of excessive burden of liquid fund, substantial amount of deposits had to be released to keep the NIM to an acceptable level, rate of interest on deposits was also reviewed downward on multiple occasions. But the Banks are still carrying the previously booked high cost fixed and scheme deposits to be matured in the coming days. This has affected the profitability of the sector including ours to some extent indeed.
However, at the moment Bank's internal control mechanism is much streamlined. With the effective efforts of departments like Credit Administration Division, Legal Matters and Recovery, NCCB International Trade Services (NITS) the Bank's loan portfolios have been made more secured in terms of completion of documentation and collateral securities. For recovery of Bad/struck up loans and advances, steps have been taken and last year, we could ensure recovery of considerable amount which enabled us to reduce volume and percentage of NPL. Audit objections are now all time low. Compliance to the Regulatory requirements have been ensured by constituting various Units and Committees at Head Office.
It is mention worthy here that the Bank's re-branding venture has started to pay result during the year 2015. Its image in the eyes of the people have increased greatly. Having the opportunity to perform in the Bank's 22 storied own gorgeous building, the employees are now more motivated than ever. I strongly believe that these experienced & dedicated workforce of NCCB will meet your expectation in the coming days. Building of positive image through proper campaign has also been given due importance last year. The Bank played its due role in participating various national events by way of sponsoring them. In recognition to our efforts to strengthen SME and agricultural sector as per directives of Bangladesh Bank, a prestigious award has been given to the Bank which enhanced its image further.
In the field of CSR activities, the Bank continued its previous trend and allowed stipend to meritorious student of SSC and HSC level that started in 2012 last. We have plans to expand its purview in future to cover large number of students of other areas of the country. During the winter season, to help the cold hit people in the remote areas of the country, we have distributed 15,000 blankets directly and through Bangladesh Bank also. Distributing relief among the cyclone or flood hit people, contributing to build up fund for arranging events like "Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla; construction of "Mukti O Ganatanta Toron" at Nilkhet point of University of Dhaka, developing and establishing Schools and Madrasas, helping to purchase medical instruments for National Heart Foundation and Research Institute and Feni Hospital, donation to Ahsania Mission Cancer and General Hospital to construct 12 consultation room and assisting destitute and hopeless patients are some of our initiatives of Bank's CSR activities over the years. We are also considering to establish an 'Old Home' for the middle class senior citizens who have no where to go in their old ages. A hospital with all modern facilities at reasonable cost will also be established in future under Bank's initiative, subject to availability of land for which we have applied to the authority concern.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to record my sincere gratitude and thanks to the Govt. of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, Registrar of Joint Stock Company and Firms, Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges, National Board of Revenue and other regulatory bodies for their continued guidance, support and co-operation to enable us to perform our activities within the set frame work.
I would also like to record my gratitude to the prudent Board of Directors of the Bank for giving us due guidance and directives with their policies and various strategic decisions. My sincere thanks also go to my colleagues in the Management team and all employees of the Bank for their active and dedicated services for the growth of the Bank. Last but not the least the valued Shareholders of the Bank also deserve my heartfelt thanks for their continued support and confidence in our Bank that helped us to act in a congenial environment of co-operation for a long time.
Mosleh Uddin Ahmed
Managing Director and CEO