Expedite RBB reforms: Governor

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 17:

Bijay Nath Bhattarai, governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), has stressed on the need to intensify the financial sector reform, which has been going on for more than two years in Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB). The reform process has cost the national coffer dear, he added addressing a programme on ‘Bank’s best performer rewarding programme’ organised by RBB. Bhattarai said that the financial sector reform is underway not only at the RBB and Nepal Bank Ltd (NBL) but also at other financial institutions such as Agricultural Development Bank Ltd, Nepal (ADB-N) and Nepal Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC). However, NBL and RBB occupy huge chunk of financial assets in the country. Bhattarai said that the initiation of ‘reward and punishment system’ was a good beginning, which would, in due course, bring effective results. “The carrot-and-stick system is to motivate the employees.”

As the NPA level of RBB still stands over 50 per cent, the management needs to pay a special heed to reduce it, which will help to expedite reforms, he suggested. The reforms in these two banks have cost the country a lot, he said, “Therefore, if the employees do not work honestly, ‘strong-action’ is needed against them.” Basu Dev Ram Joshi, chairman of RBB, said that the reward and punishment system would help in a long run for yielding sound productivity. “RBB is a Nepali bank and every employee in the bank has a responsibility to save it,” Joshi said. He reiterated that reforms in the bank couldn’t be done in a year or two. It takes at least five to six years to make RBB a strong and leading commercial bank. However, reform is on the right track and it is moving smoothly, he said.

Bruce Henderson, CEO of the bank said that rewarding the staff would be a motivational force,

which would result in higher productivity in the days ahead. Henderson was of the opinion that effective branches and quality staff are the real pillars to drive the bank towards prosperity. “All branches have to perform in a consistent manner to better the overall performance,” he said.

Henderson said that training for the staffs is also very crucial to expedite ‘reforms’. He recalled that the bank has already conducted training for assistant managers. He said that consumer loans – auto, home and education – initiated by the bank are getting good responses from customers. “The bank has been successful in driving the interest rates down as well,” Henderson added. Janardan Acharya, human resource manager of RBB said that the beginning of reward and punishment system in the bank is an attempt to encourage the employee, which would result in better productivity. Diwakar Basistha, RBB branch manager of Kalanki, who secured first position in branch category performance said there are still many more challenges in front of the bank. He promised to drive the Kalanki branch ahead of other branches, giving the bank more productive results in the days ahead despite numerous challenges and cutthroat competition in the banking at present.