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January 25, 2016

MD says political non-interference makes BoK robust institution


January 25, 2016

Bank gives Rs1 billion dividend to govt, shareholders

PESHAWAR: The managing director (MD) of the Bank of Khyber (BoK), Shamsul Qayyum, has said that non-interference by the political leadership and bureaucracy in the professional affairs of the bank has made it a robust financial institution that has paid cash dividend of Rs1 billion to the government and shareholders.

In an interview with The News, Shamsul Qayyum said that over the last 15 months or so, the BoK had achieved milestones in various sectors which in return made the bank stable and a profit-earning public sector banking institution.

“And all this happened because the chief minister, additional chief secretary (ACS) who is also chairman of the bank Board of Director (BoD), or any other bureaucrat, are not interfering in the affairs of the bank,” he said. 

He said the BoK had undergone drastic changes in terms of institutional and human resource development. “Most of the positions and powers have been decentralised and delegated to the managers in the nine newly-established regions and areas of the bank,” he added. 

The BoK MD said the bank was supporting and supplementing each and every economic activity that has been undertaken by the incumbent provincial government.

He added the bank had overcome the issue of lending, both corporate and retail, in the province and currently its lending portfolio was over Rs24 billion that included Rs17 billion funded-lending while it has also issued guarantees of around Rs6 billion.

“The agriculture sector has now become the main thrust and focus of the lending and 11 agriculture credit officers have been hired as the bank has to process over 10 cases of loans in the sector on daily basis,” he added. 

Shamsul Qayyum said the total lending exposure in the agriculture sector is Rs7 billion and has put the BoK at the top of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) list of the banks doing lending in the agriculture sector.

The BoK has already achieved 80 percent of the target it set for the June this year for lending in the agriculture sector, he added.

However, the BoK head admitted that the major lending share in agriculture was still going to Punjab where culture of agro-based industry and businesses including dairy farms and poultry continue to thrive.

“The BoK is currently operating 130 branches that also include 11 in Sindh and 35 in Punjab, while it is going to inaugurate 19 more in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this year,” he added. The official said that the BoK had set up the only bank branch in Torkham to cater to the needs of traders and other customers. To a question, Shamsul Qayyum said they were also focusing on Islamic banking as it has become popular in many areas of the world and the BoK Islamic banking branches has outnumbered the conventional branches.

“Today the BoK is running 86 Islamic banking branches. To give you a sense of proportion, I would say that the bank during my stint in office of 15 months has inaugurated 28 branches that included 26 Islamic banking branches because both people and the government want these branches,” he said. 

About attaining BoK’s profit target, he said they were quite certain of achieving it. He reminded that last year the bank not only achieved its profit target, but also gave a cash dividend of Rs1 billion, including Rs70 million to the government and Rs30 million to the shareholders. “Today BoK is the major tax-payer to the federal government from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said. 

“Sustainability in all departments of the bank is a goal and efforts are being to achieve it,” he said. He added that BoK training institutes in Peshawar and Lahore have been set up to train on-the-job officials of the bank to equip them with the contemporary banking skills and knowledge. 

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