Banks post healthy operating profitsAKM Zamir Uddin
The country’s scheduled banks in the just concluded year posted healthy operating profits despite debacle in the capital market, liquidity crisis, lower loan disbursement and a stagnation condition in opening and settling of letter of credits for import.
A BB official told New Age on Monday that although the growth in profits in 2012 was not high compared with the previous years, the banking sector had earned a significant amount of operating profit because of higher interest rates charged by the banks.
Besides, the banks got huge profits from the charges they imposed on drafts and pay orders, he said.
He said that the financial sector in 2012 had passed an unfriendly environment because of poor business climate in home and abroad that hurt both import and exports.
A number of banks were reluctant to open LCs for the local and the foreign products after the Hallmark Group-Sonali Bank scam, he said.
Banks usually earn a good amount of profit from the LC opening and settlement but they virtually restrained for participating this business in the later part of the year.
Besides, the liquidity crisis in most part of 2012 had also created a negative situation on the banking sector, he said.
The banks also faced huge losses in the capital market which has been going through bear run for almost two years.
The general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange lost more than 1,000 points in 2012.
Bankers, however, said although the banks made healthy operating profits their profits after provisioning would come down significantly.
Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank, told New Age that overall all banks’ performance was good despite some unexpected incidents in the banking sector.
Bangladesh Bank’s latest move taken on Sunday to allow banks to keep 20 per cent provisioning against capital market losses instead of 100 per cent helped some banks to make profits, he said.
‘But, the profits do not reflect the overall picture of banking sector as banks will have to keep provisioning against classified loans,’ he said.
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