NBP: The Nation’s Bank

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enewspaper.com.pk
enewspaper.com.pk

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) was incorporated in Pakistan under the National Bank of Pakistan Ordinance, 1949. The bank is involved in commercial banking and related services in Pakistan and has one of the largest domestic branch networks consisting of 1294 branches across Pakistan. It also has as well as 23 overseas branches and representative offices in 4 countries worldwide with unique footprint in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

As the world is talking about food security, Pakistan just can’t remain aloof. The country aimed at achieving food security that is not possible without addressing the issues faced by farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan economy and contributes around 21% to Pakistan’s GDP and directly supports three-quarters of the country’s population, employs half of the labor force and also contributes a large share in country’s total exports.

Pakistan has one of the world’s largest man-made irrigation systems. It is among the top five largest cotton producing countries, 3rd largest herd of livestock and is the 5th largest producer of milk. It is 5th largest producer sugarcane and dates and 6th largest producer of mangoes and the largest producer of kinnows and enjoys significant share in global rice trade.

Realizing the importance of this segment, NBP gives an important position to agriculture sector and plays a pivotal role in agriculture financing. NBP was the pioneer in micro financing by launching People’s Micro financing Scheme, NBP was also pioneer in SRCP (Supervised Rural Credit Program) and financing against gold and salaries. Agriculture Business Division has shown outstanding results in the year 2012. NBP surpassed the target assigned by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Its portfolio increased from Rs.35.0 billion to Rs.46.0 billion with NPL hovering below 6%, which is less than half the industry average of 13%. The other distinguishing feature of NBP is the competitive mark-up rate charged on lending to farmers.

 Out of total 1,294 domestic online branches, 875 are involved in catering the needs of farmers, while offering complete range of commercial banking services to farmers. The NBP has disbursed Rs 45,789.5 million as agriculture credit among nearly 241,296 farmers during 2012 against a target of Rs 43,200 million.

The loans disbursed can be divided into two categories – production and development. Under the first category loans are disbursed mainly for the procurement of seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and leveling land, whereas the second category covers purchase of tractors, agricultural implements and construction of modern storage facilitates, cattle farms and poultry farms etc and providing running finance for catering day to day requirements.

National Bank of Pakistan has converted its entire network of 1294 branches online. The Bank now has the largest number of online branches in Pakistan, exceeding any other bank operating in the country. National bank of Pakistan currently enjoys widest branch network in the country and its services are available to Pakistanis living in far-flung and most difficult to reach areas. People living in such remote areas will benefit the most from this development.

Through online facility, NBP customers holding an account at any online branch can deposit and withdraw cash from any of the 1294 online branches through inter branch transactions (IBT); Debit / ATM Card can be issued to all customers of online branches; centralized account opening; Know Your Customer (KYC) and better control and compliance.

NBP is a diversified, dynamic and largest banking institution of the country.  Its services are available to individuals, corporate entities and government.  It continues to act as trustee of public funds and as the agent to the State Bank of Pakistan (in places where SBP does not have any presence).

NBP is the pioneer in Pakistan in developing a wide range of consumer products, to enhance business and cater to the different segments of society. Some schemes are specifically designed for all the income segments of population. These include NBP Advance Salary, NBP Saiban, NBP Kissan Dost, NBP Cash n God.  NBP has implemented special credit schemes like small finance for agriculture, business and industries, administrator to Qarz-e-Hasna loans to students, self-employment scheme for unemployed persons, public transport scheme. 

During 2012, NBP through concerted efforts managed growth in all spheres especially in low risk consumer finance (Cash n Gold) and deposits with record growth. It stood by the nation in time of need, where recent floods wiped out of the business of some of its clients, the bank stood with the nation. SME & agriculture sectors have been its focus, as these are main pillars for generating economic activities in the country and offer lucrative opportunities for effective diversification and optimum returns.  

To achieve quantum growth in the days to come, NBP has successfully implemented Core Banking Application (CBA) at its Main Branch, Karachi and now plan to implement this in another 250 branches by the end of September 2013.  NBP Call Centre is now working on 24/7 basis providing account information, facilitating lodgment of complaints and status of ATM card application. The Call Centre now receives more than 1,000 calls a day and the numbers are increasing with the passage of time. The Bank is serving 7.7 million account holders. Another mark of distinction is that the Bank serves 3.3 million pensioners out of total 4 million pensioners in the country.

A web-based application has been implemented from 1st March 2012 in 560 authorized branches for payment of pension and contribution collections of Employees Old Age Benefits Institution — an autonomous body that assures payment of grant, financial relief or financial assistance to employees of private institutions who are registered with them. System facilitates direct credit of pensions to pensioners’ accounts and minimizes their physical presence in the branch to receive the pension. Automation of pension payment to Pakistan Railways retired employees is also planned which will further benefit more than 100,000 pensioners and reduce counter traffic at the branches.

It undertook remodeling of Card Management Unit (CMU) for improving its efficiency in dealing with ATM card issuance and allied services to card holders in the year 2012. The capacity to produce cards and their delivery through courier services has enhanced to 7,000 from 700 cards per day. The turn-around-time for issuance of ATM Card to applicant account holders has also been significantly reduced. Manual based application for issuance of ATM Card has been substituted with automated filing of application. In the next phase, generation of Personal Identification Number (PIN) for ATM card will be done by the card holder through IVR feature available at Call Centre.

 ATM Alerts are now generated for ATM Debit Transactions. As a next step, alerts for all Debit and Credit transactions that are made (self or by the Bank) in customer accounts as well as automatic reversals would also be generated. NBP has successfully replaced the paper based account opening process with a system based account opening process which meets all regulatory as well as Bank’s internal policies requirements relating to Know-Your-Customer.