Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL) is the country’s second generation shariah-based bank. This bank commemorated its 24th anniversary on Friday. The bank’s ownership and management underwent a big change in 2017. The bank’s managing director and CEO Kazi Osman Ali talked about the present state of the bank and its achievements over these 24 years.
What has SIBL achieved over the past 24 years since its founding?
Kazi Osman Ali: SIBL began as a second-generation bank. Over the past 24 years the number of its clients has crossed 1.5 million. The clients are our driving force. Their satisfaction is our greatest achievement.
The bank has 158 branches all over the country.Along with 108 agent banking outlets, 12 banking booths and 16 ATM booths. Many banks here do not have such a network. In the meantime we have approached the Saudi central bank for permission to open a full-fledged branch in Saudi Arabia.
Default loans are one of the main problems afflicting the country’s banks at present. How does your bank stand in this regard?
Kazi Osman Ali: We are involved in Islamic shariah-based banking.If any investment is overdue or its instalment dates are crossed,we cannot add this to the profits. Before we underwent a change in ownership and management, there were quite a few overdue instalments on investments. When I took over, I listed many of the overdue investments as classified loans so that the bank’s financial condition would improve. As a result default loans increased somewhat in 2018.But toward the end of September this year.The default loans have significantly decreased. Hopefully these will go down further by the year’s end. We aim to bring default loans down to below 5 per cent within the next couple of years.
There has also been a serious liquidity crisis in the banking sector in recent times. How is your bank faring?
Kazi Osman Ali: There had been a liquidity crisis in the overall banking sector not long ago, but our bank did not face that crisis. Till date we have not failed even for a day to maintain our SLR (statutory liquidity ration) and CRR (cash reserve ratio) with the central bank. This would not have been possible if we faced a liquidity crisis.
In order to ensure that we do not face any such crisis in the future too, we have brought variety to our banking products. We have attractive banking products for senior citizens and women which have been met with good response. We are receiving deposits, Tk 1 billion (Tk 100 crore ) in total so far, from far flung areas of the country through our agents and booth banking. That is why we have a firm footing where liquidity is concerned.
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