Banking on Bhutan's Financial Reforms

Video | 24 January 2014

ADB support to Bhutan's financial sector is allowing consumers and entrepreneurs easier access to loans and other financial services, helping to improve lives and promote small businesses.

Transcript

Title: Banking on Bhutan's Financial Reforms

Description: ADB support to Bhutan's financial sector is allowing consumers and entrepreneurs easier access to loans and other financial services, helping to improve lives and promote small businesses.

VO: In the Bhutanese capital of Thimpu, catering entrepreneur Nima Zangmo thought getting a loan to pay for her son’s college fees would be out of the question.

SOT: Nima Zangmo
Owner, Catering Business
Before I couldn’t take a loan from the pension board. No education loan for business people so maybe I could not send my son to college.

VO: With recent changes in Bhutan’s finance sector making credit more accessible for consumers like Nima, she was able to borrow $9,000 from the newly opened Druk PNB bank. The funds have allowed her son to study dentistry at a foreign university.

SOT: Nima Zangmo
Owner, Catering Business
I’m very happy I could send my son to college. I want him to be very successful and become a good doctor. 

VO: In 2007 there were only two banks and one insurance company in Bhutan, leaving customers few choices.

SOT: Chia Hsin Hu
Financial Sector Specialist
Asian Development Bank
In the old times, people don’t know what financial services they can avail. So many of them still feel more comfortable to put their cash under the pillow. When they have to make payment or pay the salary or pay the works, they have to come all the way to Thimpu, and withdraw the money from the bank and put in a big sack bag and then carry it back to their hometown, which can take 3 or 5 walking days from the capital, Thimpu.

VO: Today, two new private banks and one new insurance company are giving consumers more financial choices, and better services.

SOT: Eden Dema
Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
I would say that by doing so, the public at large have benefited through better customer service, increased financial products, reduction in insurance premiums and of course a variety of banks to bank with.

VO: With the emergence of financial reform and the introduction of collateral-free educational loans, Nima Zangmo has secured a future for her son, and is fulfilling her family’s dream.