The combined unaudited operating profits of Bangladesh's six state-owned commercial banks in 2017 rose 68 percent year-on-year to Tk 3,999 crore, up from Tk 2,376 crore a year ago.
Officials attributed the state banks' increased operating profits to the falling cost of funds and recovery of bad loans during the year.
Most of the private banks also made hefty operating profits -- between 10 percent and 60 percent -- in the just concluded year riding on a resurgence of demand for credit from the private sector.
Operating profit is that resulting from business operations (gross profit minus operating expenses) before the deduction of interest and taxes.
Of the six, Sonali and Janata each made the highest, over 1,000 crore, last year.
Janata earned Tk 1,171 crore, up from Tk 1,006 crore in the previous year.
“This was the highest annual operating profits we made in the last four years,” said Mohammad Abdus Salam Azad, managing director of Janata said yesterday.
Azad said branch managers were made accountable directly to the audit committee with respect to recovery of classified loans.
He said 115 branches were free of classified loans and they were working to do the same in the remaining 797 branches.
Rupali Bank suffered a loss of Tk 87 crore in 2016 but in 2017 reaped operating profit of Tk 540 crore.
An official of the bank said last year their recovery of bad loans was good while the rate of interest on deposits was low, all of which helped to gain good operating profit.
Of the remaining four banks, Sonali made Tk 1,178 crore in 2017 and Tk 424 crore in 2016, Agrani Tk 951 crore and Tk 555 crore, scam-hit Basic Tk 43 crore and Tk 9 crore and Bangladesh Development Bank Tk 108 crore and Tk 65 crore respectively.