Santosh Koirala, Deputy C.E.O., Macchapuchchre Bank

How is Machhapuchchhre Bank moving ahead?

Macchapuchhre has reached here with a very different experience, background and ups and downs. We are working to give banking access to locals by reaching each and every corner via ‘organic growth’. Along with that, we are also moving forward towards the direction of giving the time-contentious fruition to our stakeholders by making the bank bigger in terms of capital, portfolio and network.

Last year only, we brought more than 62 branches in operation in various places whereas now, we are on our way to expand 16 more branches in Kathmandu. This year, we strengthened our capital fund by issuing debenture worth 3 billion rupees while we are prepping to seek 1 billion international loans. In this 6 month-period, we have also succeeded to issue 12.41 billion debt, 12.24 billion deposits and 3 billion debenture making the total trade growth to stand at 27 billion.

We are also committed towards social responsibility, institutional governance, risk management, compliance to regulatory among others.

We are paying attention towards internal and external risk-management, compliance to AML/CFT Acts/guidelines and construction of infrastructures required by the regulating body. Dividing our investment, we have also been giving loan to marginalized groups more than the criteria set by  Nepal Rastra Bank.

What are the bank’s objectives at present?

We are in service business, and so our main destination is to give easy, simple and fast service to people. For that, we have invested sufficient amount in digital technology and smooth operation from last year to this fiscal year.

Apart from this, we are also stepping ahead with concrete plans in areas including appropriate management of complementary and priority capital, liquidity management, property and liability management among others by keeping in mind the ‘Basel III’ parameter-quality of risk asset focusing on sustainable dimensions in a strategic manner rather than profit-oriented manner.

Banks are competing in services, facilities and schemes in order to attract customers. What are the attractions at your bank?

Although the services and facilitates that banks are offering look pretty much the same, we are different than others in our services. Customers get all the services and facilities with much ease and simple process at Macchapuchhre Bank.

Along with that, we have varieties of deposit and loan products, smart saving account with high interest rate whereas we have set up a center- ‘education hub’ for education loan at Putalisadak. We have given technology services including mobile banking, credit card, Insta pay among others.

Please tell us about the bank’s profit and branch expansion.

Lately, as per the Nepal government’s plan to take the national structure to local level, we have expanded 62 branches and brought up the total number of branches to 187.

Talking about branch expansion, it makes a general impact on profit in the very year. However, despite the massive expansion, we still made it to enhance profits and that we are committed to give appropriate outcome to our investors.

We have not only given quality banking services to our customers, but also assisted the government  in development and prosperity projects.

What are the challenges for the bank? What are your preparations to strengthen the IT aspect?

Last few years, we have gone through liquidity and lack of investment-worthy loan. With economic indices like BOP and improvement in trade deficit, we haven’t faced such problems. Nevertheless, policy formulated by regulating body has impacted in bank’s profit whereas risk management expense has increased.

Also, in the last fiscal, expanding branches in all local levels, appointment of new employees and incidents like ATM theft, swift hacking added challenges in digital structure but, since our internal control system ICT was very strong; it could not make a big impact.

To make our ICT even stronger, we are planning to uplift it in coming fiscal year, as well as bringing improvements in other digital technologies.

How can the bank assist and play role in development and prosperity campaign?

Like I said earlier, as per the development and prosperity campaign of the Nepal Government, we have been expanding branches to remotest of the remote places where snowfall occurs for over 6 months. We have made that happen by airlifting and started operation. We have expanded branches in 17 different rural areas and we have also been bearing losses in some of them.

As per the directive of the central bank, we have invested 20 billion i.e. 26 percent loan investment in priority-sectors energy, tourism, and agriculture whereas we have also constructed a separate unit to look for loans for marginalized groups and invested 5.5 percent i.e. 4.3 billion rupees there.

Last year, we had submitted revenue of 1.74 billion rupees to the government as the advance tax. Likewise, we have been extending our support and cooperation in the government’s projects including ‘let’s open bank account’ among others.

Please shed light on the works taking place under social responsibility.

We have been working in several sectors under our social responsibility. Mainly, we have invested a huge amount of money in financial literacy in various areas of the country. We have also provisioned construction of building with lockers in assistance of developing Pashupati area. Extending required assistance in disaster management, we have also been investing in many areas as per the directive of Nepal Rastra Bank.

Can you please tell us about your academic qualifications and banking career? How did you start and what are your experiences?

I have completed MBA from Tribhuvan University TU. Apart from this, I have also done Diploma in ‘Advance Leadership and Management Program’ from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

I had started my banking career from Bank of Kathmandu (BOK) in 2000 and I have reached this stage in a span of 20 years. Talking about experiences, there have been many fun and challenging experiences in my banking career. Starting from BOK, I have also worked in Sanima bank and finally entered Macchapuchhre six year ago. It has been a learning experience in a short period of time. Now, my entire focus is on making contributions in development via this sector.

How will Macchapuchhre take up its pace in the coming days?

Macchapuchhre will move ahead as per its long-term strategic plan. With the expansion of branch networks, we will also emphasize on business growth. We will make appropriate investment and management in the area of digital technology. Quality growth of property, institutionalized governance, risk management and implementation of directives fall under our future plans.

What would you like to say in the end?  

Honestly speaking, policy-level reforms in financial management brought by Nepal Rastra Bank and Finance ministry under the Nepal government is laudable in the long run. However, in a developing country like Nepal, where loan and deposits growth have to stay high, and implementation of all the financial directives at once can result in lack of loan demand and create an impact in the system which can ultimately lead to systematic risk and economic crisis. Thus, I feel the concerned government bodies should give a timely thought on the same.