RBB enters 40th year of operations

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 23:

Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) — the largest commercial bank in terms of volume of deposits and lending — today completed 39 years of operations.

After two years of vigorous reforms, once ‘technically insolvent’ RBB has improved its performance. Its net profit following reforms touched Rs 1.11 billion for the fiscal year 2003-04. The bank has registered a net profit after suffering whopping losses of Rs 4.83 billion during 2002-03 and Rs 7.06 billion during 2001-02.

As of the end of fiscal year 2003-04, the bank’s total deposit stands at Rs 40.86 billion, whereas loan and investment reached Rs 25.10 billion. However the bank’s non-performing asset (NPA) is hovering around 56 per cent.

According to the figures provided at the programme to mark the bank’s anniversary today, RBB has 117 branches spread over 62 districts in the country and has 3517 employees following its voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) phase ‘one and two’.

“The reform process is on right track and the bank will soon be transformed into a model bank,” said Bruce F Henderson, chief executive officer of RBB, adding that the employees’ productivity plays a vital role in achieving the targets.

According to him, RBB has procured about 500 computers and plans to recruit fresh graduates to accelerate various schemes. “RBB will be fully computerised in next few years, making it one of the most competent commercial banks in public sector,” he said. “Although the reform in the RBB is slow, the achievements made in the last two years have already led the bank into a new direction,” said Basudev Ram Joshi, chairman of RBB. He also said that a lot has yet to be done in making the bank financially sound and technically vibrant.