To build a profitable and socially responsible financial institution focused on market and business with growth potential, thereby assisting BRAC and stakeholders build a ‘just, enlightened, healthy, democratic and poverty-free Bangladesh.’
As a fully operational commercial bank, BRAC Bank focuses on pursuing unexplored market niches in the small and medium-sized enterprise business sectors, which has remained largely untapped within the country. Since inception in 2001, with 154 branches, 400 SME unit offices, more than 300 ATMs, 30 cash deposit machines and more than 1,800 remittance delivery points BRAC Bank is one of the country’s fastest growing banks. The bank has already proved to be the largest SME financier in just 11 years of operation and continues to broaden its horizon into SME, retail and corporate banking. Customer service and staff development towards delivering global standard service remains this year’s priority.
BRAC’s Microfinance Programme, is one part of BRAC’s holistic approach to development, which comprises a range of interventions in health, education, environment and social and economic development. The Microfinance Programme, together with the Ultra Poor and Agriculture programmes make up BRAC’s Economic Development Programme.
BRAC offers additional services to ensure the success of its borrowers’ enterprises. These include backward linkage services such as training on improved techniques and provision of improved breeds and technology, as well as forward linkages, such as storage facilities to produce and market finished goods. A number of commercial ventures have been set up by BRAC to create these strategic linkages. In addition to protecting its borrowers, these ventures have also contributed towards making the organisation self-sustaining, with profits diverted to back into its poverty alleviation programmes.
BRAC Bank has 50% institutional shareholders such as BRAC (33.51%), International Finance Corporation (9.5%) and Shore Cap International (6.99%). Since early 2007, the remaining halves of its shares have been distributed to the general public and mutual funds through its IPO on the Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges.
BRAC’s Microfinance Programme works to provide collateral-free financing to the poor, especially women, in both rural and urban areas, in a simple, efficient, and affordable manner. BRAC MF Programme offers two different microfinance products: micro-loans (group-based, exclusively for women) and micro-enterprise loans (individual loans for both men and women). Group-based small loans are particularly designed for the lower-end poor to assist them in undertaking income generating activities. Micro-enterprise loans are available for small entrepreneurs to offer scope for expanding their business and capital base.
Moreover, BRAC utilizes a credit-plus approach where loans are accompanied by various forms of assistance for the borrowers. An important part of the credit operation is the collection of savings. Savings opportunities with BRAC provide members with funds for consumption, children’s education and other investments. It also provides security for old age and serves as a contingency fund during natural disasters.
A fully operational commercial bank, BRAC Bank offers a wide range of banking products to SME, retail and corporate clients. The bank has its primary focus on service quality and customer satisfaction. Through a team of over 8,000 employees, BRAC Bank offers a broad range of products and services to more than 1.2 million customers.