Uttara Bank Limited

Uttara Bank Limited one of the largest and oldest private sector commercial bank in Bangladesh. It was set up as a scheduled bank of the Eastern Banking Corporation in East Pakistan in 1965 and Corporation started banking on 22 June of the same year. It became a member of the Dhaka Clearing House on 17 September 1965. At the time of establishment Eastern Banking Corporation had a paid up capital of Tk 1.42 million and deposit resources of about Tk 10 million. It was the only scheduled bank established with capital raised entirely from the small income group of people of East Pakistan. Eastern Banking Corporation was nationalised under the Bangladesh Banks (Nationalisation) Order 1972 and took rename Uttara Bank with 95% of its share capital. At that time the bank had 182 branches. The government retracted and allowed it to operate as a private bank. It was transformed into a limited company on 15 September 1983. On 31 December 2000, the authorised capital of the bank was Tk 200 million divided into 2 million ordinary shares of Tk 100 each. Its paid up capital was Tk 100 million, of which Tk 5 million is subscribed by the government. The bank is listed with both Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchange.

Basic facts and economic indicators (in million Taka)
Indicators 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorised capital 200 200 1000 1000 1600 3200
Paid up capital 100 100 200 399 799 1597
Reserved Fund 1742 1765 1866 2054 2890 4610
Deposits 34615 36892 39360 43586 50817 59387
a) Call Deposits 7990 7839 9918 11978 13625 14222
b) Term Deposits 26625 29053 29442 31608 37192 45166
Loans and Advance 18601 21850 25164 28477 37141 39451
Investment 12794 10062 9565 14456 11188 22503
Total Asset 40155 42062 45217 52860 58444 71946
Total income 3821 4265 4435 5020 6314 7397
Total Expenditure 2611 2650 3153 3554 4008 4883
Foreign Currency Trading' 62923 68560 69493 69768 82260 88862
a) Export 19133 18192 18134 14785 15040 15097
b) Import 24080 23090 22631 25408 31147 29129
c) Remittance 19710 27276 28728 29575 36073 44635
Total Manpower 3382 3265 3505 3476 3476 3291
a) Officers 2153 2085 2272 2372 2311 2123
b) Staff 1129 1180 1233 1104 1165 1164
Correspondent Banks 629 629 648 686 720 662
Total Branches (in numbers) 198 198 201 207 207 211
a) Domestic 198 198 201 207 207 211
b) Overseas - - - - - -
Agriculture Credit
a) Loan Disbursed - 20 - 50 87 253
b) Realised - 15 - - 40 75
Industrial Credit
a) Loan Disbursed 3830 4786 6243 3250 7126 5288
b) Realsied 3742 4366 5921 1823 3915 7489
Loan Outstanding by Sector
a) Agriculture and Fisheries 17 16 18 61 73 438
b) Industry 3423 4458 1723 5012 6192 5560
c) Trade and Commerce 10273 9890 11706 15495 2200 16669
d) Poverty Reduction 60 45 48 5 7 35

Source Government of Bangladesh, Ministry of Finance, Banking and Financial Institution Division, Bank o Arthik Prothisthan Samuher Karjaboli [Annual Report on Banks and Financial Institutions], 2004-05 to 2009-10.

The management of the bank is vested in a 13-member board of directors consisting of a chairman and 12 directors. The managing director is the chief executive assisted by a deputy managing director and 2 assistant managing directors. With two corporate offices and 11 divisions at its headquarter banking activities of Uttara Bank Limited in 211 branches are supervised through its 12 zonal offices in different parts of the country.

The authorised capital of the bank stood at Tk 3200 million in 2009 from Tk 1600 million in 2008. The paid up capital rose to Tk 1597 million in 2009 from Tk 799 million in 2008. The reserve fund of the bank stood at Tk 4,610 million in 2009 from Tk 2890 million in 2008.

Uttara Bank performs all traditional commercial banking functions. It renders agency services to the government in food procurement and collection of government revenue through the network of its branches all over the country. The bank has correspondent relationships with 662 foreign banks/bank offices and 65 exchange houses. Of them Arabian Exchange Company in Doha, Qatar is being operated under bank';s own management and supervision. On the other hand wage earners from any place of the world can remit their money to Bangladesh through Money Gram Company of USA under a protocol signed between Uttara Bank and the Money Gram. Money so remitted is transferred to the beneficiaries accounts quickly through 207 branches of the bank.

With the objective of attracting the Bangladeshi wage earners abroad and the non-resident foreigners to invest in Bangladesh, the bank offered them the opportunity to open Non-resident Foreign Currency Deposit (NFCD) account, Foreign Currency Current Deposit (FCCD) account, Wage Earners Development Bond (WEDB) and Non-resident Investment Taka Account (NRITA). For this purposes the bank established Home Remittance Cell (SRC). The bank has some other schemes to induce the wage earners to invest their savings in the securities market of the country. Any Bangladeshi national can open Resident Foreign Currency Deposit (RFCD) account with any authorised branch of Uttara Bank to retain excess of foreign travel quota, or foreign exchange earning. The bank has earned a reputation and confidence of the wage earners in successfully transmitting foreign income to their beneficiaries promptly and without hassles. Remittances rose to Tk 44,635 million in 2009 from Tk 36073 million in 2008. Money remitted from any corner of world is ascertaind to be deposited in the account of the recipient within two hours of its arrival under Express Payment Scheme of Uttara Bank. Clients who have no account in the bank can receive remittance in cash in the counter through their passports, driving licenses, remittance cards, voter ID cards and credit cards under its Instant Cash Scheme. Besides, the bank delivers a draft dispatched by a money sending company, to the address of the recipient and pays him the equivalent money of the foreign currency under Instant Draft Scheme.

E-mail and Internet connections are available in almost all the branches of the bank including headquarters to speed up foreign exchange transactions. Swift system is available in 38 branches and international division. It has introduced Q-Cash, UBL-ATM Debit Card through which the customer can draw cash and transfer money within 24 hours. It has an individual ATM booth. This service of the bank is operated all over the country through 121 Q-cash ATM booths and all ATM booths of brac bank. Bank has introduced Nari Swanirvar Rin Prokalpa to make the women entrepreneurs self-supporting.

The bank is actively associated with syndicated financing to innovate both domestic and foreign investments in Bangladesh. Bank has participated in syndicated lending to AKTEL, BRAC, Dhaka Telephone Company Limited, Rankstel Limited, BSRM Steels Limited, Grameenphone Limited, Warid Telecome Limited, Sheba Telecom Limited, Venture Capital Energy Limited, Akber Composit Limited, Rising Spinning Limited, Malancha Holding Limited, Banga Builders Limited etc.

To meet the credit demand of small income group of rural and the urban area and to create employment for jobless youths and young women, the bank has introduced some special credit facilities. Bank is channeling special credit through its Bhagalpur branch in Kishoreganj district in dairy and poultry products to create job for the poor segment population of the area. Bank has been maintaining a special marketing outlet 'Uttaran since 1996, which is becoming popular among the buyers of marginal income. [Muhammad Abdul Mazid]