The Druk-Punjab National Bank is making steady progress and will definitely start its operation this year, according to the bank’s domestic promoters.
It will initially set up in Thimphu and Phuentsholing and later in the other dzongkhags, said a major promoter on condition of anonymity. He said that the Punjab National Bank (PNB) was chosen as a partner because it is the largest nationalised bank in India with 4,800 branches.
PNB, he added, has 114 years of experience in banking with strong relations with 217 other banks around the world. More than 50 renowned international banks maintain their rupee funds with the bank, he said.
“We’ll be floating 30 percent of the bank’s shares to the public so that it gives people an opportunity to have a stake in the bank,” said the promoter.
PNB uses advanced core-banking software and technology and, likewise, Druk-PNB will introduce advanced techno savvy products in Bhutan, the promoter said.
Once local staff is employed, the bank will train them in institutions owned by PNB and also provide on-the-job training. The Bank of Bhutan and Bhutan National Bank have enjoyed monopoly for a long time, the promoter said, but Druk-PNB would provide better services and financial products.
The promoters said that the process of superior banking technology and consequent quality services would be affected if there were restrictions placed on the movement of banking personnel. “So far, many people have shown their interest in working with Druk-PNB.”