Saturday, February 21, 2009

Overview of Bank Keshavarzi

Bank Keshavarzi was founded in 1933 as Farming and Industrial Bank. Today, having 71 years of experience, it serves as the only specialized financial institution in the agricultural sector that holds over 1800 branches nationwide and finances nearly 70% of the sector. During the past decade, the bank has been successful in meeting its mission and objectives, especially the required finances of the agricultural sector, through active participation in financial markets and relying on adequate resource mobilization.

Credit and savings growth of the bank, presumably the two essential pillars in banking operations, represent a brighter horizon and remarkable prosperities in achieving the today standards of a modern and developed bank.

In the 70th anniversary of its establishment, and within the overall policies of government in the agricultural sector, Bank Keshavarzi endeavored to provide the working capital and the required facilities available to sustain and utilize the available production capacities through injecting Rls. 28753.7 billion for as many as 1513729 credits to the agricultural sector investing on promotion of production capacities of the agricultural sector as well as job creation. The growing number of credits in 2003 as compared with last year has reached up to 11.3%, and as for the amount of credits it has grown up to 27.2%. Out of the total disbursed credits in 2003, about 146981 has been statutory credits as much as Rls. 5881.7 billion , and nearly 1366748 has been dedicated to non-statutory ones amounting to Rls. 22872 billion.
The growth of statutory credits in the reported year as compared with the previous one has reached up to 5.3% in number and up to 4.2% in amount. Also, the growth of non-statutory credits has been 11.9% in number and 34.8% in amount.
Due to the restricted water and soil resources, Bank Keshavarzi makes annually major financial credits disbursement to implement diverse water and soil projects, including dam-making projects, building floodgates to utilize surface water, handling water-shedding and underground reservoirs, leveling and draining lands, and covering water irrigation channels.

In 2003, just like proceeding years, mobilizing financial resources had been of high priority to meet the requirements of the agricultural sector.

In order to make further diversity in banking services and to meet the requirements of activists in the agricultural sector as well as other sectors, BK has endeavored extensively in recent years to expand international banking services in the field of international Forex services and their financial resources.

Focusing on the importance of electronic banking, BK has initiated its major project on the electronic banking since 2001 under the title of MEHR, i.e. smart computer management. Bank Keshavarzi has been the first bank to join the banking information exchange network, known as SHETAB Network, and the whole ATMs of operating banks in Bahrain. Accordingly, BK has so far been able to offer the best services to the customers through installing 302 ATMs and 300 POS nationwide and to issue the MEHR credit card ever offered during the history of baking in Iran for the first time. The MEHR card holders are able to shop at chain stores and other welfare centers in which point of sales (POS) are installed. For the meantime, the number of MEHR cards ever issued up to the mid 2004 amounts to 449000, the number of credit cards issued are as many as 980, and the number of branches set for MEHR cards throughout the country amounts to 302.

Bank Keshavarzi has also installed and run a telephone operating system to help customers with their accounts information. For the first time in the national banking system, an electronic queuing system has been utilized in a number of branches nationwide to reduce the number of crowed people and their irregular stance before the branch windows. As a result of positive outcomes of the above project, it is believed that other branches of BK will be definitely furnished with the above system.

Aiming to serve its own customers as well as other people, Bank Keshavarzi took the initiative and established a 24/7 call center titled Green Communication Center. It serves to people, farmers, and activists in the agricultural sector.

The Qard-al-Hassaneh savings account specially designed for agriculture was added to the scope of services offered by BK. It has been mainly designed to absorb the income obtained from agricultural crops, especially wheat. In addition, other people are also allowed to open the above account.

Bank Keshavarzi took it into account to activate a Kids Bank as well aiming at teaching kids about the concepts of savings, future plans, and bankability along with the overall policies of the bank, and later to expand it throughout the branches in Tehran at the first stage and provincial directorates at the second one.

In 2003 a pilot branch was exclusively designed for Tehran in which the services are now offered to kids and youngsters. For the meantime, though, there are 85 branches across Tehran holding special windows for services offered to kids and youngsters. Similar windows have recently been opened in the whole provincial directorates.

To name further modern plans and services by the bank, we can point to the special services offered to women -- namely Iran Plan, and Hazrate Zaynabe Kobra Plan – Atiyeh Investment Account, Easy Deposit Plan – short term deposit account enabling holders to endorse the account notes in favor of others – participation in the stock market, Special Observers Plan, etc.

Included in the mission and objectives of the bank have been the establishment of Helping Fund for Livestock and Agricultural Damaged Producers , and Agricultural Products Insurance Fund. The former fund aims at supporting the activities of agricultural sector in different ways as exposed to damages and losses gained from natural hazards. In 2003, the fund paid about Rls. 388.3 billion for damages and some 81% of total credits absorbed in 2003 are associated with the damage caused by drought and the rest are related to other disasters.
Agricultural Products Insurance Fund has been able to cover the insurance for farming, horticulture, livestock, poultry, aquaculture, and natural resources during its 20 years of consecutive operation.

brief description of BK's achievements is as follows:

• Design, implementation and installation of Core Banking System (Mehr Gostar) for the first time in Iranian banking system;
• Development and expansion of Quality Management System throughout the bank;
• Constant reengineering of business practices and procedures, as well as organizational flexibility;
• Concentration on human capital ( training , empowering, and customer-oriented workshops);
• Utilizing the latest findings and achievements in bank marketing;
• Structuring relation management with main customers through special agreements;
• Structuring Customer Relation Management (CMR)

BK's Innovations
• Localization and Implementation of Core Banking Software (Mehr Gostar);
• The first 24/7 call center;
• Implementation and installation of Branch Electronic Queuing System;
• Organizer of the first group of member banks in SHETAB Network;
• Design and implementation of voice mail and communication terminal between customers and BK's senior managers;
• Design and implementation of Lobby Tellers Project;
• Design and implementation of a website in banking system of the country;
• Design and implementation of Atiye (Future) Project in banking system;
• Design and establishment of Kids Bank
• Design and issuance of credit cards in the banking system;
• Design and implementation of Customers Supervision on Branch Affairs Project;

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