BUSINESS PROFILE: Promises from the new BCR boss

The newly appointed, Managing Director (MD) of the Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR) has promised to deliver new financial products that will improve the current financial market.

The newly appointed, Managing Director (MD) of the Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR) has promised to deliver new financial products that will improve the current financial market.

These will include introducing key elements of modern banking such as electronic financial products like electronic payments and issuing financial statements.

It will also incorporate new packages to promote trade and investment such as loan syndication.

A syndicated loan is one that is provided by a group of lenders and is structured, arranged, and administered by one or several banks.

In an interview with Business Times, Sanjeev Anand, the new M.D said that though is still new in the country, he had observed that the current banking sector offers largely basic products to customers.

“What the market is offering is fairly basic yet there is room to improve and develop what is being offered.”

Anand who has previously worked with Citigroup – an American financial services company, as country head in Zambia and Uganda took office on Tuesday. He replaces David Kuwana who left the bank in October 2008.

Anand observed that Rwanda as a country under reconstruction, cost efficiency costs tend to be high limiting business growth.

He also mentioned that he would emphasise efficiency in service delivery to make the bank more competitive.

“My task is to see how to streamline these costs and where possible reduce them. Though this is a big challenge that cannot be addressed in a short time,” he underscored, referring to the current cost revenue that stands at 65 percent as very high.

He noted that high charges make the bank less competitive while the bank is also expected to be cost effective.

“However the new products will be determined by demand and profitability.”

According to the new MD, loan syndication for big companies will also be introduced as the product is not yet offered on the Rwandan market.

“And I am not taking about Europe; most of these products already exist in African countries. Why not Rwanda? ,” he said, pointing out that loan syndicate is already being done in Nigeria and Uganda.

Anand, a chartered accountant has also held senior positions in Europe, India and West Africa, holds a first class degree in Commerce from Delhi University.

He has a wide knowledge of commercial, corporate and retail banking products and has 15 years of lending and risk management experience including recoveries management in difficult financial jurisdictions.

Having enjoyed a successful banking career with Citigroup for more than 25 years, Anand has participated in major financing transactions for leading public and private sector companies in sectors such as oil, power ,gas ,infrastructure, telecommunications and branded consumer sectors.

“This has been a difficult year for BCR but one from which I believe the bank emerges with renewed energy and a strengthened management team,” the Chairman BCR, Dr. Nkosama Moyo told the press.

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