BML aims to provide basic banking services to all islands by 2017

The Bank of Maldives Pvt Ltd has announced it will provide basic banking services to all inhabited islands in the Maldives by 2017.

Speaking at the national bank’s annual general meeting on May 29, CEO Andrew Healy said these services would include cash deposits, cash withdrawals, transfers and payments.

By December 10, 50 islands that do not have banking services will receive cash withdrawal services. BML intends to install card machines in retail and other outlets on islands.

“Today’s announcement reflects our steadfast commitment to expand banking services to all parts of the country and in particular to reach out to the remote islands. This financial inclusion programme will take time to roll out but 50 islands will benefit this year and we will be in a position to announce more details on these over the next few months,” Healy said.

The bank’s three-year strategy, unveiled at the AGM, said it will focus on financial inclusion, customer service and support for businesses.

BML will introduce a new business banking unit where each business customer is to be assigned a dedicated relationship manager and dedicated counters are to be allocated for business customers.

The bank also plans to launch Islamic banking services by the end of this year.

If the targetted progress is made, BML will be in a position to consider international expansion in 2017, a press release by the bank said.

On May 27, the bank announced customers will no longer have to pay for cash withdrawals from its ATMs. Customers can withdraw MVR 10,000 using the Visa Classic and American Express Green debit cards, and MVR15,000 using the American Express Gold debit cards without the previous MVR2 transaction charge.

BML customers also no longer have to pay for transferring money between different branches or accounts across the country. Previously, a charge of between MVR25 and MVR3,000 was applicable, depending on the size of the transfer.