Operating profits of most of the scheduled banks increased significantly in the just-concluded year amid relatively calm political situation in the country, said senior bank officials.
They said both export earnings and import payments grew significantly in 2016 compared with those in the previous year, putting a positive impact on the banks’ health.
Meghna Bank managing director Mohammed Nurul Amin told New Age on Saturday that banks usually enjoyed robust amount of service charges by settling export and import of the businesspeople that helped them (banks) to strengthen their profit base.
Credit disbursement by banks increased remarkably in last year that also fuelled their operating profits, he said.
The majority of the banks gave maximum effort to increase their profits in last year that played a role in increasing their operating profits, Amin, also a former president of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, said.
He, however, said that the defaulted loans soared in the banking sector in 2016, but the higher credit disbursement helped the banks to increase their operating profits.
Islami Bank Bangladesh posted the highest operating profit — Tk 2,003 crore — among the scheduled banks in 2016. The bank’s operating profit was Tk 1,808 crore in 2015.
The operating profit of National Bank increased to Tk 1,128 crore in last year from Tk 854 crore in 2015 while that of IFIC Bank rose to Tk 430 crore from Tk 386 crore.
Southeast Bank’s operating profit grew to Tk 863 crore in last year from Tk 834 crore in 2015 while that of EXIM Bank rose to Tk 690 crore from Tk 650 crore.
The operating profit of Standard Bank increased to Tk 375 crore in 2016 from Tk 361 crore in 2015 while that of Al-Arafah Islami Bank advanced to Tk 754 crore from Tk 628 crore.
State-owned BASIC Bank entered in the profitable zone after two years as it posted an operating profit of Tk 14.87 crore in last year from a loss of Tk 256 crore in 2015.
National Bank managing director ASM Bulbul told New Age on Saturday that the maximum number of banks had given attention to spending cut to raise their operating profits.
He said, ‘Some banks significantly cut their interior decoration-related spending that helped them to enjoy higher operating profits.’
The businesspeople took significant amount of loans from banks to set up new industrial units and expand the existing ones during the just-concluded year amid a stable political situation in the country, he said.
Besides, the number of depositors also increased in the banking sector in 2016 as the employees of banks gave drives to bring unbanked people under the banking net.