Tulasi Ram Gautam, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Century Commercial Bank Limited
How is Century Commercial Bank taking ahead its pace ?
Apart from regular financial activities, we are also giving attention to other works. We have involved ourselves in expanding the business staying under the norms and regulations of the Central bank.
Our slogan itself is “Bigger and Better Century”. Bigger stands for business expansion, branch networks and profit among others, and better denotes the quality of our service. This is how we have been working.
Where has Century Bank reached in terms of network expansion ?
We have expanded across 53 districts with 120 branches. The number of our employees has reached almost 1,000. As per the directive of the Central Bank, we have reached various places in rural areas. Branch expansion at various places is currently on progress. Given the proper access to transport, electricity and the internet, we will further expand our services.
Looking at your past works, you are known as the CEO who makes any banking institutions successful. What changes are you bringing in Century Bank ?
I am not sure if the ranking itself is proper. However, Century Bank was in 28th rank when there was a total of 32 commercial banks. Then, as per our announcement, we left 25 banks behind and reached to around 8-9 number. At that time, 10-14 banks were smaller than us. But after the trend of merger, we slid down a little. Still today, there is a huge trend of merger. If the banks, smaller than us merge, we will again go down. Therefore, we are not following numbers.
Century Bank is a bank that runs with a democratic method. The increase of the capital from 2 billion to 8 billion, with dispersed shareholders and promoters, is a huge achievement. We are aiming to grow it every year and distribute the bonus of 15 to 20 percent to our shareholders. We are paying the tax of more than 500 million annually to the government.
Have you thought of merging with any other banking or financial institution ?
The central bank had been calling on for merger, as per the which, we held talks with various financial institutions as well. However, it is not in the hands of CEO to decide on merger. For this, Board and its merger committee have a huge role. Thus, talks are ongoing. Nonetheless, it has not reached the final stage.
It is seen that the private sector has shown discontent on social security fund in recent time. What do you have to say on this ?
The bank has a collective opinion on this. Bankers Association has been leading this. We have already given our thoughts on its improvement. A few verbal agreements were forged with former labor minister i.e. Gokarna Bista. However, it could not pace up after the minister was changed.
The demand of all the employees is the facilities they are receiving must not be reduced. Another concern is loan. Majority of the employees are getting loan on the basis of provident fund and Citizen Investment Trust. People are saying the new provisions lack the same. It is understood that people get retired at the age of sixty. Perhaps it happens in government offices, but not in banking institutions. People leave their jobs before sixty or start doing some business elsewhere.
New provision lets people to withdraw the money only after they reach sixty. If one leaves job at 45, he will have to wait 15 more years to take out the savings. There will be difference between government employees and private sector employees. Simultaneously, the amount saved paying the tax, will again require tax payment if we want to withdraw it. These kinds of provisions have created discontent among the employees and that it has been demanded to address the same.
Lately, there are concerns regarding security challenges in the banking sector. What have you been doing to manage this ?
Technology itself is always challenging. With the passage of time, the technological advancement also takes place. Talking about banking technology, in some cases, employees themselves might have involvement in hacking. That is why; I do not think it can completely be resolved.
In the past, the use of information technology had not reached this stage. But, robbery, theft among others existed then as well. So, it is not that yesterday it was better and that today is worse. Only the forms have changed. We have to make proper investment in information technology and we have been doing that as well.
How should the bank assist in the national agenda of development and prosperity? What is century bank planning on the same ?
Banks specially have two works. First- depositing the money with fixed interest rate and second, providing loan to people for business, entrepreneurship purpose in fixed interest rate. The bank takes money from one place to another. The surplus that comes from operating it in effective manner, after deduction of operation cost, is then invested in infrastructure construction and other projects. This is how banks actually make contribution.
Likewise, there is social responsibility as well. Banks have been extending assistance in industries under the private sector. In this way, Banks have been playing important role in economic growth rate and other developmental works.
Finally, how would you like to conclude ?
Century Bank plans to give proper fruition to all the stakeholders among the affiliated people and we are succeeding in it. It is our ambition to become a good corporate citizen. For that, we are determined to fulfill our social responsibility by carrying out works paying tax to the government bodies and staying under the norms and values. We are taking ahead all of these together with assistance of all.