It is my pleasure to write to you as we embark on Pubali Bank Limited's 58th year, my second as Managing Director and CEO of the Bank.
2016 was a productive year with sustainable growth for Pubali Bank Limited. Before getting into the details, including our financial performance and the important steps we are taking to become an even better bank, I would like to share a few observations about the past year.
Over the period of 58 years since establishment, Pubali Bank Limited has grown to become the largest bank in private sector in terms of Branch network and as a banker to the manes. We have experienced strong growth in our centralized real time online banking services with all our branches which makes us largest online banking service provider in the country. We have also experienced overwhelming support from public as we have provided direct financial services to the manes nationwide successfully.
Over the past 12 months, I met with many of our shareholders, customers, key stakeholders and employees across the country. This interactions made it clear the Bank is widely viewed as having a strong industry position with excellent opportunities for growth. Our strategy is clear and well understood by all stakeholders and our customers appreciate the knowledge, expertise and commitment of our people and there is a great pride in being Bangladeshi's most important bank.
In this year the operating profit of our bank was BDT 655.65 crore despite all the adverse effects in the banking sector. Throughout the year the bank has been able to handle the situations successfully and to maintain substantial progress in its different development and performance indicators. The bank's deposit which is the core of banking business has reached to BDT 24,727.85 crore which is 10.00% higher than that of the previous year. Total advances of the bank has experienced an upward trend and reached to BDT 20,301.12 crore which is 17.26% higher than that of the previous year. During the year the bank handled import business and export business worth BDT 12,185.20 crore and BDT 8,676.41 crore respectively.
At our bank we give utmost importance to key parameters of corporate governance, such as, board system and its independence, function of board sub-committees, fair financial reporting, disclosure and compliance and consistency of shareholders value enhancement. All our banking activities revolving around the key principles of good governance. As a strong believer of sustainable growth, principles of good corporate governance are embedded in the core values of Pubali Bank Limited.
I would like to inform you that Pubali Bank Limited has been honoured for consecutive two years with a plaque entitled 'Top Ten Remittance Award' from the Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) for remarkable support service to increase the flow of inward foreign remittance. Pubali Bank Limited also got 'Letter of Appreciation' from Bangladesh Bank for achieving all the targets set by Bangladesh Bank for Agriculture & Rural Investment for the financial year 2014-2015.
We know the financial service environment is changing and we do not see this changing in the foreseeable future. It is being influenced by ever-changing technology, a competitive marketplace and a more cautious consumer. However, we remain confident that the Bank is well placed to meet the challenges ahead.
I would like to thank all of our stakeholders-board members, staff members, customers, regulators, communities and shareholders for their dedication and contribution to make 2016 an outstanding year. As we look forward, we are confident in our abilities to serve the changing customer needs and contribute to the growth of our beloved country. Special thanks go to the dedication of our employees working together towards our shared vision to transform lives by satisfying all our customers' financial needs.
with warm regards