EXIM Bank eyes to take banking service to doorsteps
EXIM Bank, a Shariah-based Islamic bank, sets its eyes on taking the banking service to the doorstep of its customers.
It has the highest export and import volume among the third generation banks. In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Dr Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, additional managing director (AMD) of EXIM Bank, said that the bank's policy is to exceed customer expectations.
He said the bank aims to cater to its customers' needs as quickly as possible. He added that the bank is using world-class banking software, Temenos 24, of Switzerland.
He noted that the banking service is undergoing major changes with the development of online solutions.
“Consumers and businesses are becoming increasingly autonomous and are armed with the latest technologies and devices. They demand instant and self-service access to their accounts and data,” Miah said.
Currently, EXIM Bank provides internet banking, online banking, mobile banking and SMS banking services.
Miah, who has about three decades of banking experience, discussed the banks’ success story, current activities and future plans.
Established in 1999, Exim Bank has been contributing enormously to the country's socio-economic development.
The banker said that EXIM Bank is one of the best performing banks among the country's private commercial banks, with an excellent blend of working environment and corporate culture. “The bank's operating profit growth is very good,” he added.
According to AMD of EXIM, compared to the first generation or the state-owned banks in terms of overall performance, the bank’s business is much better and is increasing day by day.
In the current year, the bank expects to make a handsome operating profit, he said.
He vowed to bring the country's unbanked population under inclusive banking services through different innovative and technology-based products. “For this, we've opened a number of rural branches and more are in the offing,” he said. Miah estimated that about 55 per cent of the total population has still remained unbanked, and most of them reside in rural areas.
In villages, the bank has already started SME or Agri branches to help farmers cultivate high-quality crops, fisheries, poultry, Arabian date and mushroom, among others.
Currently, EXIM Bank has 62 branches. Of these, 15 are located in the rural area. The bank has also two overseas branches in London and Toronto.
Giving details of the branch expansion plans of the bank, he said, the bank planned to open 15 more branches this year and five of them would be in the rural areas.
To earn foreign remittance, it plans to open two new overseas branches this year—one in Sydney, Australia, and another in New York, USA.
“The sun will never set on EXIM Bank,” the banker asserted, pointing out the bank's growing presence overseas.
The bank, which already has a sizeable number of ATMs, is planning to team up with all other banks to increase its ATM presence in the shortest possible time, he said.
The new products of the bank include Mudaraba Cash Waqf Deposit, Mudaraba Denmohor or Marriage Deposit, Mudaraba Student Savings Deposit Account, Mudaraba Monthly Student Savings Scheme Account and E-corner, CDM & ATM services. “To attract more customers, the bank is always plays innovative. Customer response to our new products is very good,” Miah said.
He also said the uniqueness of the bank lied in its efforts to be a centralized online Islamic banking entity and popularise the Islamic mode of investment and deposit.
About the new nine banks approved by the central bank, he said the country needed more banks considering its current economic situation.
The veteran banker is for strictly maintaining a healthy spread between lending and deposit rates. Maintaining a five per cent spread set by the bank will add a fillip to industrialization, he said.
On corporate social responsibilities (CSR), he said at least 2 per cent of the bank’s annual profit was set aside for CSR programmes. EXIM Bank believes in ‘together towards tomorrow”. Since its inception, the bank has laid stronger emphasis on “CSR” than “maximization of profit
The bank has a positive approach towards lessening the desolation of the underprivileged and distressed sections of the population. It has established the EXIM Bank Foundation in 2006 to carry out CSR activities in the most planned and orderly manner.
The main CSR activities include health care through EXIM Bank Hospital, scholarships for brilliant poor students, education promotion schemes, helping people affected by natural calamities, helping slum people, sponsoring sports, cultural programmes and beautification of the capital city.
On how he became a successful banker, Miah said the first and foremost quality of a successful banker is that he should keep his doors open to all who needed banking help.
“An excellent attendance record and ability to complete tasks on time and problem-solving and leadership skills are of great value in banking.”
“The greater your skill sets and certifications, the more likely will you be able to advance your career and move up the ladder,” he noted.
He also mentioned continuous improvement of technical, professional and soft skills, networking, learning about own company and having a strong work ethic as other essential qualities.
The bank has taken a lot of steps to reduce its non-performing loans. “We have laws and monitoring division to reduce non-performing investments or loans. We are doing it by strengthening banking supervision by adopting international loan classification and recovery process.”
He put forward some suggestions for improvement of the country’s banking sector. A bank should follow policy guidelines set by the central bank, he said.
The IT sector needs to be modernized to put the banks on a firm footing.
Mobile banking, enabling banking through mobile phones, is now the demand of the hour, he said.
Transparency, accountability and maintaining corporate governance are keys to winning the confidence of the customer, he said.
“Customers should feel at ease and comfortable with you and the information you provide. The truth is always the best. Make your customer feel special,” he added.
News: The Independent / Bangladesh/ 09-May-2012