NBL to get its core team

Kathmandu, November 15:

Nepal Bank Ltd (NBL) — the oldest bank under Nepal rastra Bank’s management at present — will soon get a chief executive officer (CEO) and a managerial team.

“A committee formed under Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai will soon bring out a blueprint of NBL’s future course,” said acting executive director of the central bank’s supersivion department Narayan Poudel.

Confusion over the future of Nepal’s first bank is affecting its employees, said bank employees’ union leaders today while speaking on the occasion of the bank’s 72nd anniversary. It was established in 1936.

“Let there be no confusion over the issue of management,” assured Dr Bhattarai. “We are working on the modalities of how to run the institution that is an epitome of Nepal’s entry into the era of modern industrial capitalism,” He added that the finance ministry was also seriously working on short-middle-and-long term policies for its development.

“The bank will get a professional managerial team. However, it should focus its investments on infrastructure, industries and productive sectors instead of unproductive sectors for short-term gains,” Dr Bhattarai suggested. He also urged the employess to identify and help punish those trying to push the bank into the red.

Speaking on the occasion, union leaders raised questions over the financial sector reform programme also. The bank had a foreign consultant under the financial reform programme, some 16 months ago, to rescue it. “The foreign management under the financial sector reform programme brought about some positive changes,” said Poudel.

Agreed Dr Binod Atreya, coordinator of the NRB-induced three-member management team that is looking after the bank since the last 16 months, “At least 44 of the NBL’s 99 branches are computerised. NBL is providing all modern banking facilities like e-banking and SMS banking, and will soon install ATMs also.”

The bank’s NPA has reduced to 8.33 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal year from 13.44 per cent in the same period the last fiscal. It has also posted more than Rs 520 million net profit by the end of the fiscal year 2007-08.

NBL has 10 per cent share (Rs 42 billion) in the total deposit of 25 commercial banks and that stands at Rs 426 billion. However, it has a meagre share of five per cent (Rs 17 billion) in the total lending of Rs 296 billion of all the commercial banks.

There are 25 commercial banks, 59 development banks, 78 finance companies, five rural development banks and many cooperatives.