Minister Koirala urges RBB to increase lending portfolio

Minister Koirala urges RBB to increase lending portfolio

Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) should explore market for itself and not wait for government decision, said finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala, addressing the 49th anniversary of the RBB here today. The wholly state-owned bank should explore market and expand as the time has changed and it has no monopoly market like earlier, he said, urging the bank to lend in the productive sectors prioritised by the government. "Though, the bank have succeeded in deposit mobilisation, it has failed in increasing lending," he said, adding that the bank should focus on expanding its lending portfolio in the productive sectors. "The government encourages competition in the financial sector." Likewise, chief executive of the bank Krishna Prasad Sharma said that the bank will focus on strengthening its capital structure and recovering non-performing loans (NPL). "The bank will continue to reduce staff cost, expand its banking services and network, and prepare competitive human resource," he said, informing that the banks targets to increase deposit mobilisation to Rs 121 billion and float Rs 78 billion loan within the next three years. The only wholly government owned bank has mobilised deposit worth Rs 96 billion until mid-January, whereas its lending stands at Rs 52 billion. With 148 branch network across the country, the bank also provides services from its nine branchless banking offices and 80 ATM outlets across the country. The networth of the bank has gradually increased, said central bank governor Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, on the occasion. The bank should focus on increasing non-interest income, he said, adding that the balance sheet should also be stronger to survive in the competitive market. Similarly, finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said that the bank should now find its own market. "The RBB has operational autonomy," he said, adding that it should however move ahead according to policy and directives of the government and central bank.
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