Kathmandu, August 28:

The new management of Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) — led by Bruce Henderson — has

‘strongly’ directed its branch managers of Biratnagar region to expedite the financial activities of their branches. Bruce F Henderson, chief executive officer, while speaking at the branch managers’ meet in Biratnagar today urged effective performance from the Biratnagar region RBB branches by improving service delivery and becoming customer friendly in a changed competitive environment. He hoped that in the fiscal year 2005-06, RBB Biratnagar region would meet its target. He, at the same time, also assured support to managers from the central office to improve financial position of the branches as and when required.

According to bank’s internal report, the management has projected Rs 608 million net profit in the fiscal year 2005-06 and a lower operating profit of Rs 65 million in 2004-05 as against Rs 77.7 million in the previous fiscal year. The decrease in operating profit in the last fiscal year was attributed to decline in interest income, commission and discounts income and other incomes, states the progress report. Talking to The Himalayan Times, Janardan Acharya, spokesperson at the RBB said that the managers’ meet will discuss annual plans and targets for Biratnagar region in a bid to drive the branch office in more effective ways in the days ahead. He also stressed on the need for further improvement in 14 districts of the region focusing more on loan recovery and service delivery.

The region has a total deposit of Rs 6.1 billion and loan exposure of Rs. 5.8 billion that is managed by 773 employees, according to bank’s report, “The region has great challenges in loan recovery, NPA reduction and improving service delivery.” Biratnagar region covers 22 per cent of the total loan portfolio of the bank. However, the NPA covers seem very high. Out of the total NPA of RBB, the region holds 34 per cent that is Rs 4 billion. Due to poor recovery in 2004-05, the huge baggage of NPA could not be lowered as the total cash recovery lingered only upto 15 per cent of the total recovery of the bank. In order to strengthen its recovery, the bank has to improve efficiency in service delivery, frequent follow up with defaulters, effective monitoring and supervision along with effective plans. Suman Rayamaji, a team member of the new management, has been recently appointed as regional manager of RBB Biratnagar region.