Banking Redefined : Emranul Huq, MD & CEO of Dhaka Bank Ltd expounds on the bank’s efforts to bring the best possible banking solutions as well as ensuring regulatory

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With more than three decades of professional banking experience both at home and abroad to your credit, including 23 years in Dhaka Bank, what is your vision going forward as MD and CEO?

Having the opportunity of working both at home and abroad for such a long time, I experienced the modern and advanced level banking systems. Bangladesh’s banking system has come a long way but still there is room for development, which I believe will come into reality with time. As the MD & CEO of the bank, I definitely intend to take this organization to the peak of success, not only in terms of profitability or earnings, rather in terms of the health of the organization and business portfolio. I believe, any financial institution can be distinguished mostly based on the quality of services offered for the customers. Therefore, the first and foremost area to be focused on is improving the quality of services. Then comes the varieties of products and services available to cater to customers’ needs, which Dhaka Bank already has with modern features targeting the customers’ requirements. We want to be a bank of the modern era that the customers will think off first in case of any banking requirement.

How have you set out to accomplish your goal to bring down bad loans, beef up corporate governance and widen the lender’s footprint?

I do agree NPL is one of the concerning issues in our country. But we can minimize the risk of NPL by maintaining compliance. As you know, Dhaka Bank Ltd. maintains strong compliance in this regard. We focus on strong credit assessment, continuous monitoring and robust recovery efforts to deal with the NPL. We follow Bangladesh Bank guidelines to the optimum level in order to maintain the health of our portfolio and the result is visible to all.

Besides, Good Governance has always been a matter of pride for Dhaka Bank Ltd. Since the inception of the bank, both the Board of Directors and Management have been maintaining good governance in regular operational activities and decisions.

Dhaka Bank Ltd. believes in sustained development. For this reason, we are fixing our strategies targeting all the avenues of business. We are taking investment decisions with ultimate precautions and by taking the movement of the global economy into consideration. With the global business scenario easing up gradually, Dhaka Bank is focused in increasing the foreign trade business volume. We have flourished through ensuring excellence in banking services and we intend to continue the same in the coming days as well.

Technological advancement is vital to gain advantage – how is Dhaka Bank innovating and including technology to its banking solutions?

In today’s banking world, technological involvement, innovative technology based banking solutions actually make the differences. The impact is very significant and results can easily be seen from the dependence of people on technology like never before. But a compliant and secured system must be ensured in these cases. Dhaka Bank has always been one step ahead in adapting technological evolution in rendering top class banking services for its customers. Starting from one of the most vibrant and user friendly mobile app ‘Dhaka Bank Ltd. Go’ to “WhatsApp Banking”, “Online Account Opening” etc. are adding a great value in the new generation of banking transactions.

Can you tell us how FinTech can be the most useful weapon to expedite the ongoing financial inclusion programs across the country aiming to bring more unbanked people into the banking network?

FinTech is today’s reality and the banking system most definitely needs to collaborate with this in order to extend the banking services to the mass people. FinTech can be the most useful weapon to ensure financial inclusion and an aggregated development of the banking system. Since the beginning Dhaka Bank has embraced technological platforms and continuous technological development. Dhaka Bank is the first bank in the industry to complete integration with bKash for transferring money from bank to bKash. We have introduced one of the most vibrant and user friendly mobile app DBL GO, through which our customers can conduct their banking transactions from wherever they are. In the coming days we will introduce diversified FinTech based services for our valued customers.

How did the transaction behavior and pattern of the customers change due to the pandemic? How are apps like Dhaka Bank Ltd Go, and banking solutions like WhatsApp Banking changing the landscape of the financial sector?

Compared to the pre-COVID situation, the customer’s transaction pattern and behavior has been a lot different. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many customers were made acquainted with the online mode of banking transactions without being present physically at the bank premise. Now, having been accustomed with the easy and convenient online mode, the customers could conduct their regular transactions more easily and this has made them keen towards our mobile app DBL GO, WhatsApp banking. These apps are so vibrant and equipped with multiple features that all the requirements of our customers are easily handled. Various apps and services are now being introduced in the industry due to the popularity. People are now sending money in a secured manner staying at home rather than going for a deposit, paying their bills from their own convenience, like they never did before. I tend to believe this can be counted as a positive consequence of the pandemic that a significant level of technological integration has been made in the financial sector of Bangladesh and also the customers have been benefited from these.

Being a high yielding segment, retail business has now been a very highly focused segment for all the banks. What kind of products and services can customers anticipate from Dhaka Bank in terms of retail business?

Retail business has always been considered as a high yielding business segment because of the higher earning prospect. Despite the fixation of interest rate at 9% on all lending products and services (accepting Credit Cards), the retail business is still a focused sector for the banks. Although Dhaka Bank is more focused on the corporate segment, we have introduced several retail products for our consumers under the Personal Loan, Car Loan, Home Loan and Credit Cards schemes. We have redesigned the features and benefits of our retail products. Our credit cards are equipped with vibrant features to be utilized in home and abroad, the Home Loan facilities of Dhaka Bank are quite competitive to the market and all other retail products also contain lucrative features and benefits. In the post-COVID era, Dhaka Bank is looking forward to introducing various products under the retail banking schemes with lucrative and worthwhile features to cater to the timely needs of our valued customers.

4.5 percent of the country’s foreign trade was handled by Dhaka Bank with corresponding relations with 450 foreign banks. How do you plan on priming Dhaka Bank to become the modern era solutions providers for all things banking?

At Dhaka Bank we provide real time solutions based on the state of the art automatic banking platform under the supervision of a highly skilled centralized processing team, which has enabled us to maintain the efficiency while ensuring the volume of trade businesses. We have always been focused on fulfilling our customers’ requirements in a compliant and disciplined manner. Therefore, all our trade based business transactions are being conducted flawlessly. We are in the process of increasing our corresponding relationship with the big name banks worldwide, which will help us in spreading our foreign trade business area that will ultimately benefit our customers as well as the efficiency of the business transactions will also increase. Not only that, Dhaka Bank is now arranging foreign currency loans for its customers wherever applicable through its networking with the foreign banks. Besides, we are focusing more on the offshore banking services for our valued customers, in which Dhaka Bank is one of the pioneers in the industry.

In the coming days, we plan to bank on our ultimate motto – Excellence in Banking. We are committed to bring the best possible solution for our customers as well as ensure all the regulatory compliance issues.

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