There are mixed reactions over the new year. Firstly, there is some optimism that vaccination will bring enthusiasm among people. Secondly, banks will see a huge negative impact on their balance sheets when customers start paying as many customers may fail to pay their dues accrued in a year.
So, there are uncertainties over how customers will respond to regular payments.
However, there is hope that economic activities will pick up this year as stimulus disbursement will grow confidence among businesses. In line with economic recovery, Bank Asia is planning to focus on SME and retail businesses this year as this market is much bigger than the corporate sector.
The Bangladesh Bank adopted a liberal monetary policy considering this critical situation. This stance should continue in the new year as well because access to low-cost finance is very important in this situation.
The expansionary monetary policy helped banks be comfortable with their liquidity position even during the crisis. The excess liquidity also helped banks lend at a low cost.
Banks will go for fresh recruitments this year as financial inclusion activities will increase, which will require more employees.
Md Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia