Foreign Exchange Business of Sonali Bank - Assignment Point
Foreign Exchange Business of Sonali Bank

The main purpose of this report is to get an overall idea about the Foreign exchange Business of Sonali Bank Limited. Here also focus on the organizational structure, management, background, functions and objectives of the bank and its contribution to the national economy. Other objectives are to analyze the financing systems of the bank to find out any contributing field and explain the profitability and productivity of the bank. Finally explain real management situation and try to recommend for improving existing problems.

Introduction

Banking is one of the most important sectors for country’s wealth building activities. Commercial banks are certainly profit making Financial Institutions. These institutions play great role in the money market of every economy.

Due to globalization, technological innovation and deregulation the banking system all over the world has been changing rapidly. Now a day’s banks have to compete in the market place not only with local institutions but also with foreign financial institutions.

Sonali bank is one of the leading nationalized commercial bank in Bangladesh. Its pioneer role in handling foreign trade and foreign exchange transactions ever before independence of the country still remains unchallenged. With wide network of branches at home and also a large number of correspondent banks worldwide it is singularly handling the largest volume of export-import business including homebound remittances.

For this reason Foreign Exchange of Sonali Bank is very much essential. But now a day the banking sector of Bangladesh is suffering from the disease of default culture which is the consequence or result of bad performance of most of the banks.

Sonali Bank is playing an important role toward the growth and economic development of Bangladesh. This study is attempted to produce a constructive report on Foreign Exchange of Sonali Bank.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:

The Prime objectives of the study are:-

  • To get an overall idea about the Foreign exchange Business of Sonali Bank.
  • To apply theoretical knowledge in the practical field.
  • To describe the organizational structure, management, background, functions and objectives of the bank and its contribution to the national economy.
  • To achieve overall understanding of Sonali Bank.
  • To analyze the financing systems of the bank to find out any contributing field.
  • To examine the profitability and productivity of the bank.
  • To acquire knowledge about the every day banking operation of Sonali Bank.
  • To understand the real management situation and try to recommend for improving existing problems.

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF SONALI BANK:

Sonali Bank, the largest commercial bank in Bangladesh, was established under the Bangladesh Banks (Nationalization) Order 1972 (President’s Order No. 26 of 1972) by taking over branches of former National Bank of Pakistan, Bank of Bhawalpur Limited and Premier Bank of Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the then Government, for the preannounce commitment, nationalized all the banks (except the foreign-owned banks) operating in the country.

As a fully state-owned enterprise, Sonali Bank has discharged its responsibility by undertaking government entrusted different socio-economic scheme as well as money market activities of its own volition, covering all spheres of the economy. Sonali Bank singularly enjoys the prestige of being the agent of the Central Bank.

Bank of Bhawalpur Limited and Premier Bank of Pakistan Limited were two private banks performing class banking over the country (then East Pakistan) and National Bank of Pakistan was a Government supported bank with 51% shares being owned by the Government of Pakistan that was mainly established to finance the jute sector in East Pakistan.

From a modest beginning with an increase of responsibility and by virtue of performance, Sonali Bank has, within a few years, emerged as the largest Nationalized Commercial Bank (NCB) in the country. The principal activities of the bank are providing all kinds of commercial banking services to the customers. It also performs Government Treasury functions as an agent of the Bangladesh Bank. The bank mainly handled the Export and Import Trade of Bangladesh with the socialist countries under various Barter Agreements.

 

OBJECTIVES OF SONALI BANK:

The main objective of the Bank is to provide all of banking services at the doorsteps of the people. The Bank also participates in various Social and Development programs and also takes part in implementation of various policies and promises made by the Government.

Sonali Bank has the following specific objectives:

  • To collect scattered savings of the people.
  • To maintain a satisfactory deposit mix.
  • To extend credit facilities to agriculture, rural development, commercial and industrial sectors.
  • To increase loan portfolio diversification and geographical coverage.
  • To develop human resources through continuous training.
  • To provide Export Finance
  • To provide Import Finance
  • To provide Foreign Remittance
  • To create new employment.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGE BUSINESS

Introduction:

Commercially banks deals with both internal and foreign correspondence. The foreign correspondences are conducted through foreign currency and the department dealing with these businesses is called foreign exchange department.

Sonali Bank’s expertise in International Banking has a record of in-house growth over more than half a century. Its pioneer role in handling foreign trade and foreign exchange transactions ever before independence of the country still remains unchallenged. With wide network of branches at home and also a large number of correspondent banks worldwide it is singularly handling the largest volume of export-import business including homebound remittances.

Foreign Exchange deals with the means & methods by which rights to wealth in one country’s currency are converted into those of another currency. It is a part of economic science of foreign trade. By the same view, it covers the methods used for conversion, the forms in which such conversions take place and causes which render these conversions necessary.

In Bangladesh, we have the unit of money is ‘Taka’ for domestic transaction; also have other obligations by exchanging foreign currencies. To meet-up the obligation that arise import of goods & services from other countries, other foreign necessity, that part of the economic science, which deals with the conversion of domestic currency into foreign currency for the purpose of setting international obligations, is called Foreign Exchange.

Every country has certain natural advantages in producing certain commodities while they have some natural disadvantages as well as in other. As a result we find that some countries need to import certain commodities while others necessity to export their surpluses. There are three types of modes of foreign exchange market, which are as follows:

  • Export Finance
  • Import Finance
  • Foreign Remittance

Foreign Trade Finance:

The total foreign exchange business of the Bank for the year 2003 was Tk. 1660.92 crore as against Tk. 16054.18 crore in 2002 showing an increase of 3.41%.

Comparative Position of foreign exchange business for the year 2002& 2003 are stated below:-(Tk. in Crore)

SI. No.Particulars20022003
1.Total Import5294.045257.74
2.Total Export4150.314790.65
3.Inward Remittance (Including

WES)

6069.675766.15
4.Outward Remittance (Including WES)540.16787.38
Total16054.1816601.92

 

EXPORT FINANCE:

In case of export business finance is perceived as one of the important elements. It is linked to nearly all the stages of conversion cycle- procurement of raw materials, processing of goods, packing storage, transportation to the port, shipment to the buyer, assembling of shipping documents & finally, collection of payments. The term Export Finance should therefore mean moneys needed by an exporting farm at each stage of the conversion cycles.

Export Financing sectors of Sonali Bank:

Export financing can play a vital role in the development process of Bangladesh. With earning on export we can meet our import bills. The export trade is always encouraged because the major portion of foreign exchange earning is derived from export. Because of shortage of adequate capital exporters have to come in contact with commercial bank and financial institution to get finance from them. Sonali bank as a commercial bank provides certain facilities to the exporters to boost up export earnings.

The traditional & non-traditional sectors in which Sonali Bank provides export-financing facilities are as follows:

  • Ready Made Garments in all sorts.
  • Jute manufactures
  • Jute – raw & meshta
  • Fish & Prawns.
  • Hides, Skins & Leather.
  • Tea
  • Fertilizer etc.

Export financing system of Sonali Bank:

Bangladesh as a developing country depends mainly on foreign exchange earning for its development activities. The major portion of foreign exchange earnings is derived from export obviously, to boost export, government provide certain incentives to the exporters namely:

  • Export Financing
  • Development Financing
  • Export Credit Guarantee Scheme
  • Export performance benefits
  • Duty draw back
  • Rebate on duty & tax
  • Income tax rebate
  • Insurance premium rebate
  • Conditional cash subsidy to Garments Industry etc.

PRE-SHIPMENT & POST-SHIPMENT:

In Sonali Bank export finance is required by the exports at two stages namely

Pre-shipment & Post-shipment stages:

  1. Pre-shipment: It is required to purchase of raw materials, to meet cost of production, procurement of exportable goods, packing, transport, payment of insurance premium, inspection fee, freight charges, ware housing etc.
  2. Post-shipment: It is required by the exporters after actual shipment of goods in order to bridge the period between shipment of the goods and receipts of sales proceeds from abroad.

An exporter owns resource may not be adequate to meet all such expenses. So he / she has to come in contact with commercial bank and financial institutions to get finance from them. As a commercial bank Sonali Bank provides credits to exporters at a consideration rate of interest as an export promotion measure as per government directive.

PRE-SHIPMENT FINANCING OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE:

The classes of pre-shipment financing extended to the exporters by the Sonali Bank are as follows:

Export Cash Credit – Pledge: This facility is allowed for a short period. Under this credit the exportable goods are kept under the effective control of bank either at exporter’s godown or bank own godown. In either of the cases, the bank engage full time security (chowkider) to observe over the goods & the movement the goods are done under the supervision of the bank who maintain its proper records through godown storage, challan, delivery order, godown register etc.

Export Cash Credit – Hypothecation: This advance is allowed for a short period or 3 to 6 months mainly to purchase raw materials or for procurement of exportable goods. So virtually the goods are kept under the control of the exporter but by creating charge on the goods at the time of disbursing credit. The bank has the right to take possession of the goods. The exporter will submit stock report to the bank usually on monthly basis & the bank will verify them.

Documents & Security to be obtained:

  • Export registration certificates
  • Bank usually charge documents to be signed by exporter or his / her duly authorized agent.
  • Confirmed irrevocable export letter of credit or firm contract made by the buyer with the exporter.
  • Insurance coverage
  • Collateral securities.

Packing Credit:

This facility is generally extended when the goods become ready for shipment for a very short period usually from the date of dispatch of the stock from the godown up to the date of actual shipment of the goods that is for the transit period of shipment for further purchase of raw materials or procurement of exportable goods by exporter.

Back to back letter of credit:

Pre-shipment facilities are also credited in the form of back- to-back letter of credit. When the beneficiary of an export letter of credit is not the actual manufacturer or producer of exportable goods mentioned in the relative export letter of credit as securities with his / her banker for procurement of exportable goods to enable him /her to execute the export letter of credit and such letter of credit is called inland back to back letter of credit.

Precautions used by Sonali Bank to sanction pre-shipment credit:

  1. Before making lien on the original export letter of credit all the terms and conditions should be scrutinized so that no detrimental clauses including violation of foreign exchange regulation and UPCDC terms are included there in.
  2. Expiry date of letter of credit should be properly recorded in the book and no drawing is to be allowed against expired letter of credit.
  3. The credit worthiness or solvency of the foreign buyer as well as the exporters must be ascertained before hand.
  4. In case of mortgage of properties as collateral securities, the bank by engaging lawyer together with valuation certificate from proper authority must scrutinize the relative
  5. The exporter should arrange forward sale of foreign exchange loss at the time of negotiation of export documents.
  6. In case of packing credit, the export letter of credit and relative documents have to submit in, such a way that the bank may not face any problem in negotiation of shipping documents in due course.
  7. To dispatch goods for shipment to post under packing credit the bank must verify the shipping mark on the each packet or cartoon and the relative invoice.

POST-SHIPMENT FINANCING OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE:

Post shipment financing refers to the credit facilities extended to the exporters by Sonali Bank after actual shipment of the goods against export documents. Sonali Bank generally finance the exporters at post shipment stage after verifying the credit worthiness and export performances of the exporters as well as the reputation and financial soundness of the foreign buyers provided the shipping documents are drawn strictly in accordance with letter of credit terms and in accordance with foreign exchange regulation in force.

Post shipment financing is extended to the exporters by the following terms:

  • Negotiation of export documents under letter of credit.
  • Purchase of askance bills drawn on D. A. basis.
  • Providing loan against export bills tendered collection.
  • Discounting of export bills.
  • Negotiation of export documents under letter of credit:

Most important and widely used method of financing export at post-shipment stage is negotiation of export documents. After the shipment of the goods the exporter generally submits the following documents to the bank for negotiation:

  • Bill of exchange.
  • Bill of lading or air way
  • Commercial invoice – eight copies within these four original copies.
  • Custom invoice of importer’s country.
  • Certificate of origin-original copy.
  • Packing list – eight copies within these four original copies.
  • Weight certificate.
  • Declaration of shipment to the insurance company.
  • Pre-shipment inspection certificate.
  • Quality control certificate when required.
  • Acknowledgement letter indicating received sample / approval letter.
  • Frightful letter.
  • Any other document if called for letter of credit.
  • Purchase of uses bills drawn on D.A. basis:

Sometimes export letter of credit stipulates payment at 30 to 40 months; the period is called askance period. The bills drawn under this letter of credit is termed as askance bill. On presentation of documents foreign buyers give written acceptance on the bill of exchange to pay after the askance period. In dealing such documents the banker must take proper pre-caution to realize the proceeds in time.

  • Providing loan against export bills tendered for collection:

Export bills are sending abroad generally by banks on collection basis in the following cases:

a.Export bills not drawn under letter of credit.

b. Bills drawn under letter of credit but contains.

Against the above collection documents bank may allow loans keeping substantial margin on the basis of banker customer relationship with the exporter. While handling such documents the banker must remain vigilant to refer the exporter proceed with a view to adjust the credit so extended.

Discounting of export bills:

When the export bills are not drawn under letter of credit or the goods send on consignment basis, the exporter may approach the bank for discounting the export bills on commission basis. Bank generally does not accept such proposal excepting on exceptional cases. If the exporters have very good credit worthiness and previous good export performance and foreign buyers have also good report & good reputation for past transaction.

 

Export Form:

The customer, now issued by the authorized dealers, must declare all export of which the requirement of declaration of exchange control manual of Bangladesh Bank applies on the Export Forms.

Disposal of Export Forms:

  • Origin: From custom authority to Bangladesh Bank (ECD) after shipment goods.
  • Duplicate: From negotiating bank to Bangladesh Bank after negotiation.
  • Triplicate: From negotiating bank to Bangladesh Bank after realization of the proceeds of the export bill.
  • Quadruplicate: Retained by the negotiating bank as office copy.

Export Development Fund:

The main objective of creating an export development fund at the Bangladesh Bank is to assure a continued availability of foreign exchange to meet the import requirement of non-traditional manufactured items, this facility is available to the non-traditional exporters, particularly newer exporters, exporters diversify into higher value export and exporters diversify into new markets. An exporter identified above is eligible on the basis of the conditionally stated below: –

  1. One must be an exporter of non-traditional manufacturing items.
  2. The value added of these products could be 20% except in the case of garments where it has to be 30% & above.
  3. The loan should be utilized in the case of importing raw materials for manufacturing the exportable products.
  4. The exporter must have an export letter of credit.
  5. One must create a back-to-back for importing raw materials.
  6. The period of loan is 180 days.

Scrutiny of Export Document:

After the shipment of goods the exporters submit export documents to authorized dealer for negotiation of the same. As bankers deal with documents only, not with commodity they are required to be very much careful about the genuineness and correctness of the documents evidencing shipment of the respective commodities. The bankers are to ascertain that the documents are strictly as per the terms of letter of credit. Before negotiation of the export bill, the bankers are to scrutinize and examine each & every document with great care. Negligence in the part of the bankers may result in non-repatriation or delay in realization of proceeds as incorrect documents may put the importers abroad into unnecessary troubles. The scrutiny procedure is as follows:

1) Scrutiny of Draft or Draft of Exchange:

  1. The draft should be drawn by the party indicated as the beneficiary of the credit e. the exporter; drawee must be in accordance with the terms of the credit.
  2. The tenor and amount of the draft be in conformity with the credit terms.
  3. The bill of exchange should be properly stamped if necessary with the requisite value and the cost must be recovered from the drawers unless it is provided otherwise in the letter of credit.
  4. The draft or bill must bear the correct date and must be drawn or endorsed to the order of the bank.
  5. The drawer’s signature must be verified.

2) Scrutiny of invoice:

  1. The physical description of the goods i.e. price, quantity, quality, markings etc. in the invoice must correspond with the specifications in the credit.
  2. If the credit stipulates a consular invoice, the requisite invoice should be
  3. All copies must be signed and certified as correct shipper.
  4. (e) If the credit stipulate for any other particulars to be stated in the invoice these must complied with. It should not include charges such as postage; cable etc. unless specifically authorized under the credit.

3) Scrutiny of shipping bill:

  1. The bill of lading should be a full set clean on board ocean bill of lading, unless the credit stipulates otherwise. ‘Received for shipment’ bills of lading must not be accepted unless permitted by the credit.
  2. It must agree with the invoice as regards quantity and description of goods as well as in respect of ports of shipment and destination.
  3. The bill of lading must also indicate where it is ‘freight paid’ (C & F, GIF) or freight payable at destination (FOB transaction).
  4. Transshipment and port shipment clauses in the shipping bill should be in accordance with credit terms and the provisions of the uniform custom and
  5. Credit frequently stipulates for shipment not letter than a specified date. Bill of lading must be examined to ensure that these are dated not later than the date
  6. Must be properly signed by or behalf of the carries, must be properly stamped
    and must be endorsed, expect when the relative credit stipulate for bill of lading to order of a named firm.
  7. Dock shipment not permitted unless specifically authorized and covers by
  8. Bill of lading must not be a stale one.

4) Scrutiny of Insurance:

Where insurance is to be effected by the beneficiary for GIF consignment, the policy   accompanying the documents should be examined to ensure:

  1. That the insurance covers the merchandise for the value stipulated in the credit.
  2. That the document is of the class stipulated in the credit.
  3. That the insurance documents describe the merchandise covered and mention the name of the carrying steamer. In case where ‘on board’ bill of lading are not presented the following clause or words of similar indent must follow the name of the steamer’ and / or ‘following steamer’.
  4. That all risk stipulate in the credit are properly covered in the insurance documents. When the credit stipulates that ‘all risk’ are be covered, it is not sufficient that various risks are mentioned but a clause to the credit that ‘all risk’ are covered, is required.
  5. That the policy is in the name of the bank and the importer.
  6. That the party designed in the documents to perform such act properly countersigns the insurance document.
  7. That the insurance document complies with the conditions of the letter of credit is in negotiable form that it is endorsed by the party to when the loss payable, unless the credit stipulates that the insurance must be issued ‘loss payable to a specified party in the country of destination’.
  8. That the date appearing on the insurance document is not later than the date appearing on the bill of lading.
  9. That the insurance document covers transshipment when the bill of lading indicates that transshipment would take place.
  10. That the insurance claims are payable at the port of destination, That insurance certificate / policy acknowledges the payment of the premium.

Scrutiny of other documents:

  1. The other documents i.e. certificate of origin, packing list, weight / measurement certificate, inspection certificate, survey report, quality control certificate etc. should be issued or signed by the proper authorized and description of ‘export – order’ given in these documents not be in contradiction to the credit terms.

 

RISK OF EXPORT FINANCING:

In the trade – there are so many risk factors involved. In banking sector – the bank face risk basically from loans & advances and foreign exchange. In this section I discuss the risk of Export Financing.

While there are many advantages to exporting it is not without risk. In deed there are often factors present in international market, which make foreign exchange substantially more risky than domestic ones, including the credit risk of non-payment or non-acceptance of the merchandise by the buyer. For international sales, these risks are far more pronounced than they are domestically. For these reasons Sonali Bank also accompanied with elements of uncertainty some which are as follows:

(a) Commercial risk:

  • Insolvency of overseas buyer, which result in non-realization of export proceeds.
  • Failure of the buyer to retire credit already accepted by him / her in case of askance bill within stipulated period.
  • Willful negligence of the importer to accept of pay bill or to accept goods for no fault of the exporter.

(b) Political risk:

  • Sudden out break of war revolution or civil disobedience in buyer’s country.
  • Imposition of restrictions on remittance on any government action in the buyer’s country which may block or delay payment.
  • Imposition of trade embargo or blockade against any country.
  • New import restriction on the buyer or cancellation of the license.
  • Additional handling transport or insurance charges due to interruption or
    diversion of voyage, which cannot be recovered from buyer.
  • Bankrupt or closure of a bank or stoppage of operation of a bank may hamper repatriation of exports proceeds of letters of credit opened by such a bank.
  • Any other cause of loss occurring outside the exporter’s country beyond the control of importer or exporter.

(c) Informational risk:

Often credit information on the importer is not available or at best sketchy because buyers and sellers live in different socio-economic & political environment. It is much harder to judge the financial strength, reputation, integrity of a buyer who is thousands of miles away and belongs to a different culture. Moreover, many importers may have good reputation in their own environment based on local value system; they may – never the less engage in some surprising business practices when judged by a different set of standard.

(d) Pre-shipment export credit risk:

Pre-shipment export credit risk involves the following additional risks:

  • There may be diversion of fund because of low interest rate.
  • Uncertainties   relating   to   non-availability   of new   materials   may   hamper processing of exportable products.
  • The exporter may not be able to make shipment within the stipulated time due to power failure, strike, natural calamites etc.
  • The materials under back-to-back letter of credit may not reach well in time to allow the exporter to process goods within the expiry date of original export letter of credit.

 

IMPORT FINANCE

All over the world there is no country, which can meet its requirements from its own sources. Some imports raw materials, some finished goods & some food products or other commodities. As it is in export & import are invariably conducted through commercial banks. Sonali Bank is engaged to extend the facilities to the importers.

After getting the completed registration, application for opening letter of credit is made through a bank where applicant has a current account. An importer is required to fill up import application form & letter of credit authorization form & importer has to deposit margin money to the bank from 10% to 40% of the import value, depending on the credibility of the importer. After the letter of credit is established the exporter after executing the export, submits the negotiable document through its bankers and in terms of exporters bank submit the documents to the corresponding bank of the importer’s bank in the country. If the documents are found correctly fulfilling all the terms & conditions stipulated in the letter of credit the corresponding bank of import’s bank will realize payment that will debited to the importer’s account. In banking term this is known as LATR and the importer has to pay the LATR amount in 90 days with the bank interest rate.

Import financing sectors of Sonali Bank:

Sonali Bank is the major financer of import business in our country. In extend credit, grant and other facilities SB finance to the following sectors:

  • Machinery & transport equipment.
  • Petroleum & petroleum products
  • Textile, yarn, fabrics, article & related products
  • Chemicals
  • Iron & steels
  • Cereal & cereal preparations
  • Dairy products & eggs
  • Other including loans & grants.

IMPORT FINANCING SYSTEM OF SONALI BANK:

  • Registration of import
  • Income tax registration certificate
  • Partnership deed in the cases of partnership concern
  • Certificate of registration with the register of joint stock companies
  • Articles & Memorandum of association in the case of limited companies.
  • Nationality certificate & Bank certificate
  • Ownership documents in place of business
  • Trade license from the relevant authority.
  • Survey clearance from the relevant authority
  • Other documents prescribed in the import policy.

Import Registration Certificate (IRC):

In case of import IRC is the first necessity for the importer. The IRC is not required for import goods by government departments, Local authorities, statutory bodies, recognized educational institutes, Hospitals. In addition registration is not required for import goods, which do not involved remittance of foreign exchange like -medicine, reading materials etc. can be imported without IRC by the users within monetary limit.

Procedure for obtaining IRC:

For IRC the interested person / firm’s submit the application along with the following documents directly to the Chief controller of Import & Export respective zonal office (CCI&E):

  • Income tax registration certificate.
  • Nationality certificate.
  • Certificate from chamber of commerce & industry registered trade association.
  • Bank solvency certificate. .
  • Copy of trade license.
  • Any other document if required by CCI&E.

On receiving application the respective CCI&E office will scrutinize the documents, conduct physical verification, and issue demand note to the prospective importers to furnish the following documents through their nominated bank:

  • Original copy of treasury deposited as IRC fees.
  • Assets certificate.
  • Affidavit from 1s‘class magistrate.
  • Rent receipts.
  • Two passport size photograph.
  • Partnership deed in case of partnership firms.
  • Certificate of registration
  • Memorandum & Articles of association in case of limited company.

After secularization and verification the nominated bank will forward the same to the respective CCI&E office with forwarding schedule in duplicate through banks representative. CCI & E then issues import registration certificate to the applicant.

 

IMPORT SCRUTINY:

The import bills consist of the following documents & the order of their scrutiny should be as below:

  • Forwarding schedule of negotiating bank.
  • Bill of exchange.
  • Bill of lading
  • Insurance documents
  • Certificate of origin
  • Any other documents.

Lodgment:

  1. Intimation should be given to the party in time.
  2. Conversion of foreign currency in to Bangladesh Currency.
  3. Entry in PAD (payment against document) register
  4. Entry in Letter of Credit opening register by rounding the letter of credit number with date.
  5. Scrutinize the shipping documents meticulously.
  6. Inform the importer to deposit balance amount of letter of credit and to release the necessary documents.
  7. Enter the shipping documents in inward foreign bills register.

Import Bills Retirement:

  1. Banker will prepare & pass retirement vouchers.
  2. Importer will deposit the claim amount.
  3. Certifying Invoices.
  4. Passing & prepare the vouchers.
  5. Entry in the register.
  6. Endorsement in the Bill of Exchange and Transport documents i.e. Bill of Lading; A. W.B.; T.R. etc.
  7. Accounting treatment of voucher passing:
    1. Parry’s A/C …………………………Dr.
    2. Margin on import A/C. …………….Dr.
  • PAD A/C…………………………….Cr.
  1. I.A. Interest & other charges A/C… … .Cr.
  1. At the end of the total procedure, taking the retirement of import bills or clearing certificate from the bank, the importer will clear the goods from the port through the clearing & forwarding agent.
  2. On the other hand, completing the above all steps the issuing bank will prepare “foreign exchange transaction schedule” and send one copy to international division of Head Office and another one copy to reconciliation.

RISK OF IMPORT FINANCING:

In the trade – there are so many risk factors involved. In banking sector – the bank face risk basically from loans & advances and foreign exchange. In this section I discuss the risk of import financing.

In international trade transaction takes place between buyers and sellers living in different socio-economic and political environments. There may be abrupt changes in socio-economic or political situation in the buyer’s country or in the seller’s country. Even the exchange value of currencies of the two countries had gone so much down that they were not acceptable or exchangeable in international market. More over the importer or the exporter may not be able to comply with the terms of credit for some reasons. Therefore, risk inherent in all credits. The bank have to consider following risk in financing the import procedure:-

(a)commercial risk:

Violation of the requirement of letter of credit authorization or letter of credit:

Shipment effected before authentication of the letter of credit authorization from by the nominated bank and registration with the Bangladesh bank, whenever necessary and before opening of letter of credit or after expiry of the validity of the letter of credit authorization or letter of credit shall be treated as import in contravention of this order. Letter of credit authorization obtained in the basis of false or incorrect particulars or by adopting any fraudulent means shall be treated as invalid and void.

Import against indent and Performa invoice: Letter of credit may be opened against and indent issued by a local registered indenter or against a Performa invoice issued by a foreign manufacturer or seller or supplier.

(b)Political risk:

In addition to the credit and commercial risk we have outlined, international transaction such as import financing take on the whole new dimensions of political risk. They are as follows:

  • Sudden outbreak of war, revolution, coups or civil disobedience in the seller’s
  • Imposition of restriction on remittance.
  • Imposition of trade embargo or blockade.
  • New import restriction on the buyer or cancellation of the license.
  • Additional handing transport or issuance charges due to interruption or diversion of voyage, which can’t be recovered from the buyer.

(c)Informational risk:

There may be informational risk inherent in import financing on the importer because of shortage of required information. So it is much harder to judge the financial strength, reputation and integrity of a seller or buyer who is thousands of miles away and belongs to a different culture.

 

DOCUMENTS USED IN FOREIGN EXCHANGE:

  • Letter of Credit (L/C):

It is the most important and commonly used in connection with foreign trade.

Letter of Credit is an undertaking by a banker of the importer to the exporter, to the effect that the amount of the L/C will be duly paid. The banker on behalf of the importer issues the L/C in favor of the exporter (beneficiary) and forwards the same to the exporter to the effect that the bill drawn by him shall be duly accepted and paid.  It creates confidence in the mind of the exporter so far as payment of the bill is concerned. It is also facilitate the exporter to get the benefit of discounting the bill before the date lf maturity.

  • Bill of Exchange:

A Bill of Exchange is an instrument in writing, containing an unconditional order, signed by the maker, directing a certain person to pay on demand or on fixed or determinable future time a certain sum of money only to or to the order of a certain person or to the bearer of the instrument. From the definition – we get the features of bill of exchange. In generally there are three parties like- Drawer: The person who prepare the bill; Drawee: The person who is ordered for the payment in future specified time; Payee: The person who is the amount of bill receiver as per the order of the drawer to the drawee.

  • Bill of Lading:

A bill of lading is a document that is usually stipulated in a credit when the goods are dispatched by sea. It is evidence of a contract of carriage, is a receipt for the goods, and is a document of title to the goods. It also constitutes a document that is, or may be, needed to support an insurance claim. The detail on the bill of lading should include:

  • A description of the goods in general terms not inconsistent with that in the credit.
  • Identifying marks & numbers (if any).
  • The name of the carrying vessel.
  • Evidence that the goods have been loaded on broad.
  • The ports of shipment & discharge.
  • The names of shipper, consignee and name & address of notifying party.
  • The number of original bills of lading issued.
  • The date of issuance.

A bill of lading specifically stating that goods are loaded for ultimate destination specifically mentioned in the credit.

  • Commercial invoice:

A commercial invoice is the accounting document by which the seller charges the goods to the buyer. A commercial invoice normally including the following information:

  • Date
  • Name & address of buyer & seller.
  • Order or contract number, quantity & description of the goods, unit price and the total price.
  • Weight of the goods, number of packages and shipping marks & number.
  • Terms of delivery & payment.
  • Shipment details.
  • Certificate of origin of goods:

A certificate of origin is a signed statement providing evidence of the origin of the goods.

  • Inspection certificate:

This is usually issued by an independent inspection company located in the exporting country certifying or describing the quality, specification or other aspects of the goods, as called for in the contract and / or the letter of credit. The buyer who also indicates the type of inspection usually nominates the inspection company he /she wishes the company to undertake.

  • Insurance policy or Certificate:

The insurance certificate document must:

  • Be that specified in the credit.
  • Cover the risks specified in the credit.
  • Be consistent with the other documents in its identification of the voyage and description of the goods.

Unless otherwise specified in the credit:

  1. a) Be a document issued and / or signed by an insurance company or its agent, or by underwriters.
  2. b) Be dated on or before the date of shipment as evidenced by the shipping documents or establish that cover is effective at the latest from such date of
  3. c) Be for an amount at least equal to the GIF value of the goods and in the currency of the credit.

Proforma invoice or indent:

Seller’s quotation or agreement between seller & buyer. In this-the seller declared the rate, quantity, quality, manufacturing & other information about goods and that accepted by buyer.                                                           .

S.P. certificate (Generalized system of preference):

When tariff concession is sought from those developed countries providing preferential treatment to exporters of the developing countries, a GSP certificate should be obtained from the EPB. In GSP scheme the tariff providing country is payer country & tariff consumer or receiver country is receiver country. Up to the period there are 16 developing countries under this scheme facility. From Bangladesh export development burro the industrialists may get necessary information & practical procedure.

Other Documents are: Packing list; Master’s receipt.

 

DOCUMENTARY CREDIT:

In simple terms a documentary credit is conditional bank undertaking of payment. Expressed more fully, it is written undertaking by a bank (Issuing Bank) given to the seller (Beneficiary) at the request and in accordance with the instructions of the buyer (applicant) to effect payment (i.e. by making a payment or by accepting or negotiating bills of exchange) up to a stated sum of money, within a prescribed time limit & against stipulated documents.

These stipulated documents are likely to include those required those required for commercial invoice, certificate of origin, insurance policy or certificate and bill of lading or combined transport document.

There are various types of documentary credits.

A revocable credit can be amended or cancelled at any time without prior warning or notification to the seller.

An irrevocable credit can be amended or cancelled only with the agreement of all parties. As there are often two banks involved the issuing bank & the advising bank, the buyer can ask or an irrevocable credit to be confirmed by the advising bank. If the advising bank agrees, the irrevocable credit becomes a confirmed irrevocable credit.

There are four types of documentary credits according to payment methods:

  1. Sight credit
  2. Acceptance credit
  3. Cash credit
  4. Deferred payment credit

 

LETTER OF CREDIT (L/C):

Letter of Credit is an undertaking by a banker of the importer to the exporter, to the effect that the amount of the L/C will be duly paid. The banker on behalf of the importer issues the L/C in favor of the exporter (beneficiary) and forwards the same to the exporter to the effect that the bill drawn by him shall be duly accepted and paid.  It creates confidence in the mind of the exporter so far as payment of the bill is concerned. It is also facilitate the exporter to get the benefit of discounting the bill before the date lf maturity.

Parties of Letter of Credit transaction:

  • Issuing Bank: It is the buyer’s bank. The bank that agrees to the request of the applicant and issues its letter of credit in terms of the instructions of the applicant.
  • Advising Bank: It is the seller’s or beneficiary’s Bank. The bank usually situated in the seller’s or beneficiary’s country (most of the time with which there exists corresponding relationship with the buyer or issuing bank), request to advice the credit to the beneficiary.
  • Confirming Bank: Sometimes issuing bank request advising bank or another bank to add confirmation to the letter of credit. When that bank do this then such bank is called confirming bank. So advising bank can be act as confirming bank.
  • Reimbursing Bank: This is the bank that is nominated by the issuing bank to pay (it is also known as paying bank) or to accept drafts. It can be situated in another country. In this connection it is to say that American Express Bank & Nat West Bank act as reimbursing bank in case of Sonali Bank. The account, which maintains Sonali Bank with Nat West Bank & American Express Bank, is called “Nostro Account” and in rivers the account, which is maintained by Nat West Bank & American Express Bank with Sonali Bank, is called “Vostro Account”
  • Negotiating Bank: The bank, which makes payment to the exporter after scrutiny, the documents submitted by the exporter with the original letter of credit then it is called Negotiating Bank.
  • Nominated Bank: The bank that is nominated by the issuing bank to pay (nominated bank is known as paying bank) or to accept drafts (nominated bank is known as accepting bank) or to negotiate (nominated bank is known as negotiating bank). Usually the advising bank is request & authorized to be the nominated bank unless the credit allows negotiation by any
  • Seller: Beneficiary of the letter of credit is seller.

Classification of Letter of Credit or Basic forms of documentary letter of credit:

The letter of credit can be either revocable or irrevocable. It needs to be clearly indicated whether the letter of credit Revocable or Irrevocable. When there is no indication then the letter of credit will be deemed to be a revocable L.C. The details are as follows:

  • Revocable letter of credit: A revocable credit is one, which can be amended or cancelled by the issuing bank. At any moment without “prior notice” to the beneficiary. So this is clear that revocable credit can be revoked any time without prior notice.
  • Irrevocable letter of credit: An irrevocable credit is one, which cannot be cancelled or amendment able any time without the consent of each party. Through this letter of credit the issuing bank gives a definite, absolute and irrevocable undertaking to honor its obligations, provided the beneficiary complies with all the terms & conditions of the credit.
  • Government letter of credit: That letter of credits, which are done by the Defense Ministry and other Ministries of the government.
  • Master or mother letter of credit: The L.C. which come from out side the country to the exporter from importer that is mother or master letter of credit.

Other classes of letter of credit:

  • Revolving letter of credit: When the L.C. is used again & again in same amount for a specific period of time that is called revolving letter of credit.
  • Transferable letter of credit: Exporter can transfer his / her right of letter of credit in full or partly to a third party. In generally, the exporter is not the supplier but act as a middleman with in the supplier & importer.
  • Back-to-Back latter of credit: The letter of credit, which done by the security of mother letter of credit.
  • Clean or open letter of credit: The letter of credit, which provides assurance of payment bill of exchange without submission, of any export documents that is called clean letter of credit.
  • Confirmed letter of credit: When the Irrevocable letter of credit issued by issuing bank to the exporter as assurance of the L.C., then as per advice or documents the authorized representative or representative bank’s provide assurance or payment guarantee that is confirmed letter of credit.
  • At sight letter of credit: That letter of credit which expires ninety days i.e. with in this period the documents must be sending to the negotiating bank.
  • Deferred payment letter of credit: That letter of credit which expire one hundred & eighty days i.e. with in this period the documents must be send to the negotiating bank.

 

Procedure for letter of credit opening:

After completion of the previous particulars, then the party take money and bank give letter of credit to the party by checking the declared particulars of the party. Then one copy sends to the Beneficiary / Negotiating bank. The beneficiary bank sends the document to exporter. The exporter & Beneficiary bank for shipment the goods. Then the beneficiary bank sends back to the letter of credit opening bank.

The LC opening bank scrutinizes the documents and sends to the importer. When the importer accepts the documents then LC opening bank do lodgment (it is the payment procedure in lodgment voucher).

Then the accounting treatment is:

PAD account ………………… …..Dr.

Exchange account …………… …..Cr.

Sonali Bank General A 1C… … …..Cr.

Then the importer apply for endorsement as well as retirement. For retirement accounting treatment in retirement voucher is:

Importer or party’s account. ……….. .Dr.

Marginal account… ………………. ….Dr

PAD account…… ………………… …Cr.

P&T charges account… ……………… Cr.

Cost of stationary account… ……… …Cr.

Interest account. …………………….. Cr.

Then the opening liability reversed by credit in liability voucher (FEF – 20 internal voucher). Then the documents endorsed by the LC opening bank and send to the importer. The party goes for customs clearing. After clearing the importer submit the customs “Bill of entry” certificate with in four months to the LC opening bank. The LC opening bank matching the documents and report to the Bangladesh Bank within the month of retirement of LC. Then the letter of credit is fully closed.

Justification for fitness of letter of credit opening:

  • Application from importer.
  • Bio-data of the applicant.
  • Current account opened by the applicant in the branch.
  • Supplier’s acceptance & rate of goods.
  • Is it a brand item or not.
  • Contract on prescribed form of bank (stamp TK. 150).
  • Performa invoice from supplier.

 

FOREIGN REMITTANCE

Remittance is the sending of money etc. to a distance. Foreign remittance is the sums of foreign currency to a distance from one place another place i.e. country to country. The person who is the receiver of the remittance is remittee. The person who is the sender of the remittance is remitter or remiitor. There are two types of foreign remittance, which are as below:

  • Foreign inward remittance
  • Foreign outward remittance

Foreign Inward Remittances:

The remittance of freely convertible foreign currencies which Sonali Bank Foreign Exchange Corporate branch is receiving from abroad against which the authorized dealers making payment in local currency to the beneficiaries may be termed as foreign inward remittance.

Mode of inward remittances:

The term inward remittances includes not only remittances by TT., MT., Drafts etc. but also purchases of bills, purchases of drafts under travelers letter of credit and purchases of travelers cheques. Foreign currency notes against which payment is made to the beneficiary also a part of inward remittances. Thus the following are the Mode of inward remittances:

  • TT: Telegraphic Transfer.
  • : Mail Transfer.
  • FD: Foreign Drafts.
  • TC: Travelers Cheque.
  • Foreign currency notes.

Purpose of inward remittance:

The purpose of remittance is of various reasons. Such as:

  • For family maintenance.
  • Realization of exports proceeds.
  • Export brokers commission.

About” Form-C”:

The authorized dealer should obtain ‘Form C’ from the beneficiary to know the purpose of the remittances in all cases and they are to submit the “Form – C’ to Bangladesh Bank along with the monthly returns where the proceeds of the remittances is TK. 5000/= & above. ‘Form – C’ is a prescribed declaration form & this ‘Form -C’ is to be filled up and signed by the beneficiary himself.

Payment procedures of FD. MT. & PO. Drawn on Sonali Bank:

The above investments that are drawn on Sonali Bank Foreign Exchange Corporate Branch may be paid on the spot before making payment the following procedures to be observed by the authorized dealer:

  • To obtain Form-C.
  • To verify the signatures of the instrument.
  • To convert the foreign currency into Bangladesh TK. with O.D. (On Demand Transfer)
  • buying rate prevailing on the date.
  • To make entry in TTs, drafts & Mails received register.
  • To prepare FET schedule and to send first five copies of FET along with vouchers to international division, Head Office, Dhaka.

Payment procedure of T.T.:

  • To verify the ‘test number’.
  • To inform the beneficiary for submission of “Form – C”.
  • To confirm from issuing bank or reimbursing bank.
  • To covert of foreign currency into Bangladesh currency with T.T.
  • To make entry in T.T.s, drafts, M.T.s, received registration.
  • To prepare vouchers.
  • To prepare FET schedule.

Purchase of Drafts & Cheques:

Authorized dealer may purchase drafts & cheques which are not drawing on Sonali Bank at the request of the beneficiary. Procedures of purchase are as below:

  • To obtain an application or undertaking from the beneficiary with ‘Form – C’
  • To verify the signature of the drafts (if possible).
  • To make entry in the register for drafts & T.C. purchased.
  • To convert foreign currency into Bangladesh
  • To prepare voucher.
  • To prepare FET schedule.
  • To send the instrument for collection.

Collection procedure of drafts & cheques:

  • To make entry in foreign Bills Collection Register.
  • To prepare forwarding schedule in quadruplicate.
  • To prepare vouchers on realization of proceeds i.e. on receipt of advice from the collecting

Payment of traveler’s cheque (TC):

  • To checkup the custom declaration (if any).
  • To consult with purchase agreement (if any).
  • To obtain signature on TC and to verify the same with the previous signature of the beneficiary of the TC.
  • To make entry in register for TC & drafts purchased.
  • To convert foreign currency into Bangladesh
  • To prepare FET schedule.
  • To send the TC for collection.
  • To prepare the vouchers.

Payment of foreign currency notes:

  • To check the custom declaration (if any).
  • To made entry in (kateha) raw register.
  • To convert foreign currency into Bangladesh
  • To prepare vouchers.
  • No FET schedule is required to be prepared & sent to head office because in this case there is no transaction with head office.

Cancellation of inward remittance:

In the event of any inward remittance which has already been reported to the Bangladesh Bank being subsequently cancelled, either in full or in part because of non-availability of beneficiary. Authorized dealers must report the cancellation of the inward remittance as an outward remittance of “Form-T/M”. Required documents are:

  • The date of return in which the inward remittance was reported.
  • The name & address of the beneficiary.
  • The amount of the purchase as effected.
  • Reasons for cancellation.

Reporting to Bangladesh Bank:

On the last working day of each month the transaction during the month to be reported to Bangladesh Bank through the following schedule:

  • Schedule -J-l / 0-3 for TK. 5000 & above.
  • Inward remittance voucher-1/04 for below TK. 5000.

 

FOREIGN OUTWARD REMITTANCES:

The remittance in foreign currency which is being made from our country to abroad, is known as foreign outward remittance.

Mode of outward remittance:

Thus the following are the Mode of outward remittances:

  • Telegraphic Transfer.
  • MT: Mail Transfer.
  • FD: Foreign Drafts.
  • PO: Payment Order
  • TC: Travelers Cheque.
  • Foreign currency notes.

Approval of Bangladesh Bank:

Bangladesh Bank provides permission or approval for outward remittances to the applicants who are to lodge an application for the purpose on the following prescribed forms with an authorized dealer who forwarded the same to Bangladesh Bank for approval:

  • The IMP form (cover remittances for imports).
  • Form T/M (Traveling & Miscellaneous).

Issuance procedure of FD, MT. & TT.:

  • To prepare the instrument.
  • To make entry in DD, MT, TT issued register.
  • To prepare draft advice in duplicate one for drawee bank & one for reimbursing
  • To make entry in draft advice dispatched register.
  • To send reimbursement authority in case of MT & TT.
  • To prepare FET schedule.

Issuance procedures of traveler cheque:

  • To verify the approved T / M form or Bangladesh Bank permit.
  • To issue TC by obtaining signature of the purchaser on the TC.
  • To endorse in the passport.
  • To prepare FET schedule.
  • To make entry in the travelers cheque issue register.
  • The TC issuing slip of the issued TC to be sent to that bank (whose TC issued)
  • With reimbursement instruction.

Issuance procedure of foreign currency notes:

  • To verify the approved T.M form or Bangladesh Bank permit.
  • To issue foreign currency notes by endorsing in the passport.
  • Voucher preparing with accounting treatment:

Party’s account…………………………………..Dr.

Foreign Currency Notes on Hand A/C……………… Cr.

Home bound remittance:

More than 40% of home bound remittances are routed through Sonali Bank for its excellent personalized services and wide network of foreign inlets and domestic outlets. Remittance can be sent to all the 1186 local branches of the Bank spreading over the urban and remote rural areas of Bangladesh. To facilitate home bound remittance the Bank has two subsidiary companies, one in the USA and another in the UK. Besides, it has one representative office in Saudi Arabia and 23 agency offices in other Middle Eastern Countries.

Sonali Bank has made arrangements to deposit/pay remitted money to the beneficiaries within 48 hours on receipt of the remittance from abroad.

Facilities for wages Earners:

  • Bangladeshi national/Bangladesh origin dual citizen working abroad may open Foreign Currency account (F.C. A/C ) in US Dollar and Pound Sterling without initial deposit.
  • Nominee can operate the account
  • Interest is paid on F.C. A/C
  • Balance in F.C. A/C can be utilized for import of goods
  • Balance available in the F.C. account may wholly or partially be sent abroad.
  • Foreign currency brought in by Wage Earners can be deposited in the F.C. A/C
  • Wage earners Development Bond in Taka can be purchased from the balance of F.C. A/C
  • Non-Resident Foreign Currency A/C (NFCD A/C) can also be opened by Wage Earners.
  • C. A/C & NFCD A/C may be maintained as long as the account holder desires.
  • These accounts can be opened from abroad on submission of required papers duly attested by our Embassy/ Branch/ Representative office abroad.

Interest Rates for Wage Earners:

ParticularsInterest rates (P.A) (Floating)
Wage Earners Development Bond issued for 5 years12%
 Non-Resident Foreign Currency Deposit (NFCD) A/C

posit (NFCD) A/C

Nature of CustomerCurrencyPeriod (Month)Rates
Private IndividualUSD1 Month
3Months
 

 

 

 

6 Months & above1.75%
GBP1 Month3.60%
 

 

3 Months3.58%
6 Months & above3.55%
All Foreign Banks/

Exchange Houses & Financial Institutions

USD1 Month1.90%
Exchange House &3 Months1.85%
Financial Institutions6 Months & above1.80%
All Foreign Banks/

Exchange Houses & Financial Institutions

GBP1 Month3.60%
Exchange House & Financial3 Months3.58%
Financial Institution6 Months & above3.55%
Resident Foreign Currency Deposit (RFCD) A/C4.82%
Foreign Currency Account Dollar (FCAD)4.00%
Foreign Currency Account Pound (FCAP)5.00%

Monthly statement to Bangladesh Bank:

On the last working day of each month, the transaction of outward remittance during the month to be reported to Bangladesh Bank.

Observation of Sonali Bank Foreign Exchange Corporate Branch of F.E.D.:

Foreign Exchange division is very efficient margin of letter of credit. The branch achieved the target on export & import.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGE BUSINESS POSITION:

ParticularsDec.2002Dec.2003Dec.2004June 2005
a) Export4150.313557.445721.313099.17
b) Import5294.003995.818523.855456.05
c)Remittance (Including Non WES)6069.674231.455766.154055.38

(Tk. in Crore)

Introduction

Over all Marketing Strategy and Marketing information system of Sonali Bank is not so much developed. But Sonali Bank Foreign Exchange Branch have already developed and used marketing strategy to attract and retain clients from its establishing period, though the management of the branch has no enough academic marketing knowledge.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning helps to guide the directions Sonali Bank management takes for the future. The first step in strategic planning is an assessment of the bank’s strengths and weaknesses. Some common criteria to assess strengths and weaknesses are as follows:

  • Profitability;
  • Competitiveness;
  • Efficiency;
  • Flexibility;

Subsequent to evaluating strengths and weaknesses, SB management can consider alternative marketing strategies.

 

Marketing Planning

With strategic plan in hand; bank management can proceed with the development of a marketing plan. The marketing plan should be compatible with and contribute to the strategic plan. From this perspective, two aspects of marketing planning are product portfolio analysis and intangible services.

Product portfolio analysis is a process of evaluating the role of each product on both sides of the balance sheet. By doing so, products can be classified by their contribution to the bank’s objectives and a cohesive marketing plan for the products can be drifted. To assess the role of a product the competitive strength of the bank compared to other banks in the market, the market attractiveness of the product in terms of growth and the ability to cross-sell with other bank products are considered.

Intangible services relate to the fact that financial products are services rather than goods. The intangible nature of services presents difficulties in their promotion and sale. One way to overcome this dilemma is to associate the service with a tangible object. Another approach is to divert attention away from the intangible service and toward the “relationship” between the bank’s employees and the customer. The bank personnel are tangible and customers become their personal clients. You are not receiving a nameless, faceless service but a friendly, helpful salesperson. Thus, intangible services can be more easily promoted and sold by transforming them into physical goods as perceived by customers.

Organizational Structure

Organizations typically either have a functional-oriented or market-oriented management structure. As a function-oriented Sonali Bank’s structure is designed on the basis of traditional lines of banking business, such as loans, investments, trust, and operations. It is a formal structure that is highly specialized and centralized and has a lengthy chain of command. By contrast, a market-oriented structure is market driven and therefore, evolves subject to the needs of customers.

It is essential that market strategy precede organizational structure issues. Reversing this order of decision-making would unnecessarily constrain management activities. Organizational structure should be adapted to fit the competitive needs of the bank and not the other way around. As the strategy and structure of an organization change over time the reward system in terms of play promotion, benefits, etc., should be adapted to be consistent with the new direction of the bank.

 

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is an essential part of bank marketing strategy. Customer demands in retail markets usually vary with demographics (e.g., age, sex, family size, occupation, education, race, religion and income), but other characteristics such as social class, lifestyle, and attitudes can also be important. In a corporate market, company size, products, location, extent of credit needed. And other financial service support requirements will affect customer demands.

Sonali Bank, Foreign Exchange Branch segments its market on two  criteria:

  • Occupation (Businessman or High Income Occupation)
  • Institution (Business Institution)

Another important set of decisions related to market segmentation is market positioning. So you want to be an international, national, regional, or community bank. Other questions arise with regard to pricing personnel distribution or delivery, and profitability. Donnelly, Berry, and Thompson propose the following minimal level of institutional positioning.

  • Relationship Bank;
  • Investment Bank;
  • Everywhere Bank;
  • Selling Bank.

Price

The total pricing strategy of Sonsli Bank is a combination of convenience, service charges, minimum balances to avoid service charges or earn interest (or both), and other unique characteristics of the particular account.

Promotion

Two necessary conditions for customers to purchase a financial service is that they must know it exists and they must understand it. Promotion of financial services deals with informing and persuading customers to help create customer demand. Although SB is not so efficient to promote financial service it also employs some tools of promotion.

Advertising

Advertising informs customers of the existence of a financial service Sonali Bank gives little attention to advertising by giving some bill board.

Personal Selling

Personal selling is needed to further explain the service, answer customer questions, and close the sale of the service. Personal selling is consistent with relationship banking discussed earlier and is the first step toward establishing a client relationship. The client purchases a banker, rather than a service. Nowadays, most SB loan officers try to make a certain number of “cold calls” to potential clients every week in an effort to arrange a meeting for the purpose of personal selling.

Sells Promotion

The branch also provides Calendar, Diary, Eid card, Watch with symbol of SB to its big clients. It some time gives created and advance with out adequate documents.

Distribution/place

Sonali Bank is the largest bank in pablic sector through its branch network all over the country. It has 1186 branches.

Service and Quality

In recently Sonali Bank highlights the need for quality in bank service production. To assess bank service quality, the Quality Focus Institute recommends constructing a two-dimensional plot, as to score difference areas of service quality. For example, “Improvement Potential” gauges the ability of the quality area to increase customer satisfaction, whereas “Satisfaction Impact” relates to the effect of each quality are on customer satisfaction.

 

MAJOR FINDINGS

The findings obtained from the study on Foreign Exchange Business of Sonali Bank are follows:

  • Sonali Bank is playing an important role toward the growth and economic development of Bangladesh.
  • There are three types of modes of foreign exchange market, which are: Export Finance, Import Finance & Foreign Remittance. Foreign Exchange Corporate Branch does these foreign exchange activities vastly.
  • With wide network of branches at home and also a large number of correspondent banks worldwide it is singularly handling the largest volume of export-import business including homebound remittances.
    • The total foreign exchange business of the Bank for the year 2004 was Tk. 20011.31crore as against Tk. 16601.92 crore in 2003showing an increase of 17.03%.
    • The total Deposit of the Bank for the year 2004 was Tk. 24581.89 crore as against Tk. 22456.48 crore in 2003.
    • The total Advance of the Bank for the year 2004 was Tk. 16819.11crore as against Tk. 15511.22 crore in 2003.
    • The Net Profit of the Bank for the year 2004 was Tk. 107.24 crore as against Tk.65.95 crore in 2003.
  • Sonali bank Staff College provides training facilities to its medium and junior level officers of the bank and also provides executive development and internship program.
  • Only the cash section of the branch is computerized. Hopefully, management has decided to provide computerized system for each of its departments soon, which will bolster services of the bank. Paper-based works are still in existence.
  • The liquidity & profitability condition of the Foreign Exchange Corporate branch is standard.
  • It is a leading bank of Bangladesh but it has no attractive appearance in its official environment.
  • All the employees are not loyal to the organization, so they are not focused on the customer satisfaction, where customers are the life of the banks.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

As an internee of Sonali Bank I have some recommendations. These are:

  • The Bank should develop an effective database needed for analyzing Foreign Exchange Business.
  • The Bank should develop sectors wise export-financing facilities.
  • Letter of Credit (L/C) opening system for the importer should be easier.
  • For customer’s convenience, Sonali Bank should provide more personnel to deliver faster services to the customers.
  • Proper communication system and maintenance of files & machineries like phone, computer, fax, and photocopier need to be ensured.
  • To ensure error free faster services, the bank should be fully computerized.
  • Research & Development activities should be taken into consideration
  • Effective strategies must be undertaken against defaulters.
  • Office should be fully decorated to attract clients to take its services.
  • More employees are to recruit. For the better service, training is must and according to the skill and education background of employee needs to be positioned.
  • The Bank should absolutely maintain on its own rules and procedures.
  • The Bank should introduce reward system for good borrowers as well as punishment for bad borrowers.
  • The Bank should apply modernized Marketing Information System.
  • The Bank should act without any kind of political influence.

 

CONCLUSION

The Banking arena in recent time is one of the most competitive business fields in Bangladesh. As Bangladesh is a developing country, a strong banking sector can change the socio economic structure of the country. So we can say, the whole economy of the country in linked up with its banking system. There are 54 banks in Bangladesh in which 38 are indigenous commercial Banks. Sonali Bank is the largest nationalized commercial Bank of Bangladesh. This bank performs hundreds of important activities both for the public and for the government as a whole. It has an outstanding bearing to thrive our business sector. It has strong performance on General Banking, Loans & Advances, Industrial credit and foreign Exchange. I had the privilege to learn many things from the Foreign exchange Corporate Branch through my active involvement in this branch.

In this paper I have tried to highlight Foreign Exchange Business of Sonali Bank. Its pioneer role in handling foreign trade and foreign exchange transactions ever before independence of the country still remains unchallenged. With wide network of branches at home and also a large number of correspondent banks worldwide it is singularly handling the largest volume of export-import business including homebound remittances.

The effective and efficient Foreign Exchange Business of the Bank helps in the continuous growth and progress of national economy.