Dear Stakeholders,


At Mercantile Bank PLC., we prioritize stability and reliability to maintain resilience and uninterrupted service to our customers and stakeholders. Recognizing our pivotal role in the national and global economies, we elevate sustainability as a core value. As Managing Director, my vision for MBPLC has been to achieve excellence in operational performance, product delivery, customer satisfaction, and financial stability. We have made significant strides towards these goals, and I am confident in our potential to enhance shareholder value in the future. Despite the challenges of a shifting global landscape marked by political and economic tensions, our commitment to providing our customers with global market access remains steadfast. We navigate these complexities with a focus on managing increased risks effectively.



Bangladesh’s economy is steadily advancing through a period of recovery, with a GDP growth of 6.03% and a per capita income of US$ 2,765 for FY 2022-23. The nation is overcoming the adversities of the pandemic and geopolitical conflicts. Guided by the Hon. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s strategic decisions, we are on course to reclaim our strong growth trajectory. Amidst global challenges such as the RussiaUkraine conflict and economic sanctions, Bangladesh’s economic indicators remain positive. The inflation rate is projected at 7.5%, with exports expected to exceed US$ 60 billion and imports around US$ 90 billion. The Taka’s value adjustment against the dollar and a healthy remittance inflow of US$ 17.71 billion underscore our economic resilience. With sound fiscal management, export expansion, and the completion of significant infrastructure projects, Bangladesh is positioned to achieve sustained economic progress.



The past year has been a testament to our unwavering commitment to our clients, whose trust in our capabilities has only deepened. This is evidenced by the significant growth in our deposit volume, which saw an increase of approximately 9 percent, rising from Tk. 281,792.05 million in 2022 to Tk. 306,947.95 million in 2023. Notably, our Islamic Banking Deposit volume reached Tk. 11,047.41 million, reflecting the growing confidence in our Islamic Banking services since the inception.



Our Loans & Advances portfolio expanded by 1.40 percent, with the total standing at Tk. 284,830.98 million in 2023. The year was marked by a strategic focus on recovery and consolidation, and I am proud to report that we have successfully achieved these objectives. Our Total Non-Performing Loan ratio has been reduced to 6.08% in 2023, down from 7.09% in the previous year, underscoring our prudent risk management practices.


In Foreign Exchange business, we have recorded noteworthy volumes with Tk. 220,260.2 million in Imports, Tk. 178,734.5 million in Exports, and Tk. 49,607.6 million in Inward Remittances. These figures stand as a testament to our satisfactory performance in a challenging economic landscape.

The year 2023 was pivotal as we endeavored to ensure the quality of our assets, a cornerstone for sustainable growth. Our strategic vision to ‘Shape the future’ of the Bank has been at the forefront of our efforts. Despite these ambitious undertakings, we achieved an Operating Profit of Tk. 5,410.40 million, a commendable result attributable to the collective dedication of our team.

As we look towards the future, MBPLC aspires to be among the nation’s most trusted and successful financial institution. We concluded the fiscal year as a leading bank, with a Return on Asset of 0.52% and a robust Capital to Risk Weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR) of 14.79%. As we step into 2024, I am confident that MBPLC will continue to be a pillar of strength and stability for our clients. Our creditworthiness is reflected in the ratings assigned by Credit Information & Services Limited (CRISL), with a long-term rating of AA and a short-term rating of ST-2. Additionally, MOODY’s has conferred upon us a long-term rating of B2.



In 2023, the global conversation centered on inflation and its impact on real incomes. In response, Mercantile Bank, aligning with industry trends, raised deposit interest rates to attract customers, resulting in a Cost of Deposit increase to 5.18% from 4.68% in 2022. Despite a slight uptick in deposit mix, the bank continues to focus on delivering competitive rates to its customers in a challenging economic environment.



Embracing the “Digital Bangladesh” vision, MBPLC’s mobile application for digital banking has garnered widespread acclaim. As of 2023, the app proudly serves nearly 1 lakh customers. With digital integration escalating cyber security risks, MBPLC has intensified its focus on this critical area. The bank’s dedicated Information Security & Governance Division vigilantly monitors cyber threats, bolstering defenses through employee awareness and proactive threat mitigation strategies.



MBPLC takes pride in its expansive and innovative product portfolio, a testament to its commitment to customer-centric service. In 2023, the bank launched five new deposit products—two traditional banking products and three Islamic banking options— tailored to meet diverse customer needs. These offerings have successfully attracted significant deposits. In the segment of credit cards, Mercantile Bank has transformed from a modest participant to a formidable contender, thanks to effective acquisition campaigns that have spurred remarkable growth. Looking ahead, the bank aims to maintain this momentum. Additionally, Mercantile Bank has broadened its focus beyond corporate banking, achieving a growing SME portfolio valued at Tk. 37,738.0 million, a clear indicator of its strategic diversification efforts.



In alignment with its growth objectives, the Bank has been actively exploring new territories and embracing opportunities to serve an expanding customer base. Adhering to regulatory guidance, the bank has optimized its expansion costs while prioritizing the inclusion of unbanked populations. This strategic approach has led to the establishment of 12 new sub-branches across the country in 2023, marking a significant step in the bank’s commitment to accessibility and network growth.



The Bank’s continuous expansion, both digitally and through physical units, necessitates a skilled workforce. As a testament to its commitment to being an employee-centric organization, the bank not only creates ample job opportunities for qualified candidates but also ensures their professional development through comprehensive training programs. In 2023, the bank’s workforce grew to 2,695 permanent employees, up from 2,624 in 2022, reflecting its dedication to growth and employee welfare. Moreover, Mercantile Bank’s compassionate policies offer compensation for health-related issues affecting employees and their families, reinforcing a sense of security and enhancing overall efficiency within the organization.



In keeping with its tradition of substantial contributions to the national treasury, Mercantile Bank PLC. has once again demonstrated its role as a responsible corporate citizen. In 2023, the bank made a noteworthy contribution of BDT 6,660.12 million to the Government Exchequer, reinforcing its commitment to the nation’s economic vitality.



As we reflect on our journey, I extend profound gratitude to our esteemed customers and stakeholders. Your unwavering trust has been our driving force throughout the years. I also commend our dedicated Board of Directors for their invaluable policy guidance and timely decisions, steering the bank toward success. Lastly, on behalf of our entire team, I express sincere appreciation to the regulatory authorities—Bangladesh Bank, FRC, NBR, BSEC, DSE, CSE, and RJSC&F. Their unwavering support and insightful guidelines have been instrumental in shaping our path forward. Together, we continue to build a resilient and customer-centric institution.



In 2024, we would continue to focus on the recovery aspect. Making sure we have a solid portfolio of assets in hand is the way forward for us. Also, procuring quality deposit will ensure liquidity as well as profitability. We will continue to be customer centric and provide customers with support through our present and future distribution points. We are relentlessly working towards optimizing the resource allocation and increasing the efficiency of the distribution points. Digital integration in every possible sector of banking will be up there in the priority list as well. Going Digital and building sustainability through ensuring quality Asset portfolio is our medium and long term objectives.

Best Regards.

Md. Quamrul Islam Chowdhury

Managing Director

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