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Fiji Time: 8:54 AM on Monday 21 April

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Changing with Bank of Baroda

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update: 8:15AM

Bank of Baroda in Fiji (BoB) has been in operation since 1961 and has eight branches in all major business centres around the country that comprise, Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Nausori, Labasa, Sigatoka and Rakiraki. To buildt better customer relations ship BoB has opened Microfinance Service Centres in all eight branches for the benefit of small and micro entrepreneurs since December 2009. (more on microfinance on next page)

In the 50 years of operation, BoB has provided affordable banking services, participated in the socio-economic development by extending credit to large business houses, Microfinance Entrepreneurs, Small and Medium Enterprises(SME), retail, trading, manufacturing units and agriculture sector.

Baroda upgraded technology connects all the eight branches and facilitated the transformation of customers of a single branch to become customer of the BoB network. This allows customers to make transactions from any of the eight branches. BoB already has eight onsite ATMs at each branch and one off site ATM at Centre Point outside Suva to cater for customers outside the main business area centres.

BoB is owned by the Indian Government and is 102 years old. It has evolved with the changes and with its contemporary setting offers banking products and services to large industrial, SME, retail & agricultural customers across the country, BoB is dedicated to customer convenience. The bank has over 3200 branches in India and has 81 branches/offices in 26 countries across six continents worldwide with a global customer base of over 37 million.

Bank of Baroda was recently bagged the Best Bank Award for 2010 by the prestigious financial magazine, Business India

in recognition of its consistent performance. The Bank has made remarkable progress in business performance beyond the Industry average. The bank also made significant progress in technology implementation, financial inclusion and international operations.

In Fiji, BoB serves more than 62,000 customers all over including 38,000 customers from rural areas constituting 61 per cent customer-based, through committed and dedicated staff. BoB has major share in lending to wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants (44.45 per cent ), Real Estate (9.53 per cent) Building and Construction (5.23 per cent as of Sept 2010. The banks credit portfolio contains more than 11.39 per cent exposure in SME sector. The Bank participates in the governments development projects by deploying surplus funds in various government securities. Bank has also participated in the growth of tourism, backbone sugarcane manufacturers of Fijis. BoB has adopted the strategy of growing with the customers and has made continuous profits since 1961, not withstanding the economic and political changes.

At BoB change is a journey. It has a beginning. There will be no end. It will be a long and difficult march. All changes initially are resistant prone and lead to teething promblems which over a period of time normalises, becomes user friendly and such changes are always for the benefit of all stake holders.

Barodas technology initiatives are focussed on the customer. The Business Transformation Programme, encompassing technology, has implemented by the bank with a view to providing the customer, convenience banking on 24 X 7 basis, at major centres in India and abroad.

Baroda has introduced deposit products like term deposits with monthly, quarterly income plan, term deposits with reinvestment plan, Zero balance Savings Scheme, Small Savings Scheme and lending products like Baroda Education Loan, Baroda Traders Loan, Baroda Home Loans, Baroda Car Loans, Baroda loan /Overdraft against Banks own Deposits/ against insurance policies, Baroda Property Loans, Baroda Farm Loans, Baroda Personal Loans, Baroda Soft Loans, Baroda Commercial Loans, Baroda Micro Loan, Baroda Loans for Micro and Small Enterprises, etc. catering to specific target groups viz. SMEs, Micro entrepreneurs, Professionals, salaried employees by leveraging new core banking technology.

Bank has well conceived Human Resources Development Policy. Staff members are provided training to enhance and upgrade their skills. The trainings are imparted in the banks training centre in Suva.

Baroda has introduced Internet banking and also exploring EFTPOS for the benefit of customers in Fiji.

Bank of Barodas Representative Office in Sydney, Australia is in operation. As a business initiative BOB in India opened a branch in Auckland, New Zealand in April 2010. BoB in Fiji however offer trade related products by leveraging the presence in Australia and New Zealand.

The above initiatives are for customers convenience and diversifying the customer base and the new business strategy for a new era in banking relationships in Fiji.