Bhutan National Bank started on July 25th, 1980 as Unit Trust of Bhutan (UTB) with initial funding of Nu. 2.5 million by the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan. The trust functioned as a subsidiary of RICB with the purpose set to inculcate saving habits among the general public and channeling resources into productive sectors.
On the 1st of January 1992, the royal government conferred the trust with the status of an independent financial institution. In its first year, the trust declared a profit of mere Nu. 9618.86.
With the growing economy and only one bank in the kingdom in 1995, the trust was converted into a commercial bank with assistance from the Asian Development Bank.
It was in the July of 1996 that the Bank’s equity was offered to the public. This made the bank a widely owned public financial institution with an ownership of 28.58 % by the general public. Five months later in December, the entire bank was computerized with the advent of banking software called Micro banker.
In 1997 the Royal Government divested 40 percent of its equity to the Asian Development Bank and Citibank making it the only institution in the country with foreign interests. The same year Bhutan National Bank Limited officially opened for business.
The Royal Government of Bhutan reduced its nominees to the board to encourage private sector participation to the optimum and to cultivate a sense of competition, dynamism, and professionalism in 2001.
Again in 2003, the banking software was replaced by Flexcube.
2004 saw us launch the first-ever ATM services in the country for the convenience of our customers. They were launched in Thimphu and Phuentsholing. Three years later, Bhutan National Bank Limited introduced a debit point-of-sale terminal that helped people with debit cards effortlessly shop in Bhutan.
In March 2009, SMS Services was launched. Eight months later internet banking followed suit. Recurring deposit and rupee-denominated prepaid cards were introduced in April 2011 and in December 2011, Bhutan Financial Switch was inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister.
In November 2012, we launched Piggy Bank Accounts for children aged 4 – 18 to encourage children to inculcate saving habits. B-Wallet which enabled fund transfer and utility bill payments also launched a month later. In 2016, mPAY was launched to cater to the people that were increasingly using smartphones.
In many instances, Bhutan National Bank Limited has been a pioneer in introducing new services to improve processes and customer satisfaction. And with the support of the public and clients, we hope to become the best bank in the country and in the world.