Brigido De Sousa

  Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

BNCTL advanced its financial and non-financial initiatives in 2019 to become financially stronger, operationally sound, and better positioned to serve our customers. We enhanced automation and digitalization, made operations efficient, enhanced customer focus, improved internal controls and advanced capabilities of our team.

The Government of Timor-Leste’s budget execution rate in 2019 was at 84%, the lowest since 2013.  Infrastructure projects were restrained with 75% budget execution rate for Infrastructure funds and 73% for Public Works. This also led to subdued private investments and 8% decline in capital expenditure. Despite the unfavorable macroeconomic conditions, BNCTL managed a productive and profitable 2019, while restructuring the bank in accordance with decree law 16/2019.

The loan disbursements were $13.2M higher than the $45.4M forecast and the loan portfolio, net of provision for losses, grew by 9.9% ($7.9M).  The quality of our loan portfolio remains robust with 97.4% of our loans in “current” status.  BNCTL accounted for 38.6% of all commercial credit through banks and microfinance institutions. 

The risk of political instability and a lack of state budget had impact on infrastructure project and the direct impact of it to the bank was 46.8% drop in infrastructure project loans.  Anticipating risk, BNCTL focused on consumers and absorbed some impact with 32.1% growth in consumer loans. BNCTL reduced restriction to consumer finance and made it affordable with risk-based pricing introduced in 2019 to grow the consumer loans. The loan portfolio now consists of 73% consumer loans compared to 60% in 2018.  Retail / consumption lending remains resilient.  

Deposit mobilization was $1.3M over target and BNCTL realized 3.7% ($4.4M) growth in deposit.  BNCTL accounts for 12% of the total banking deposits in Timor-Leste and deposit mobilization remains a focus for BNCTL. To support small and medium enterprises, Central Bank introduced a credit guarantee scheme in 2019.  BNCTL was the first and only bank to implement this scheme in Q3 2019 albeit the number and volume remained extremely low BNCTL kicked off preparation to introduce credit products backed by credit insurance and short-term loans for emergencies and introduced them in 2020.  It aims to expand the insurance coverage to investment and other business loan in 2021.  Advancing on 2019 preparation, in 2020, BNCTL became the first bank in Timor-Leste to introduce comprehensive insurance products including life insurance, temporary and permanent disability insurance and redundancy insurance.

We commenced risk-based pricing of interest for clients gradually reducing interest on qualifying loans from 12% to 6%-11% range and even lower with loan being insured.
BNCTL made significant progress in our digitalization efforts in 2019.  The Core Banking System (CBS) is over 80% stabilized.  We added new ATMs and POS; there were 29 ATMS and 45 POS operational at the end of the year.  BNCTL also integrated with P24 system for interoperability of ATMs of different banks and will continue full integration in 2020.  Disaster Recovery Centre was established in 2019. 

We commenced projects to set-up Internet banking which is expected to go-live in Q4 2020, and a project to redesign IT architecture of the bank for better performance and security. The modernization of BNCTL with right technologies will continue in 2020 with integration of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) suite, SWIFT, Enterprise Reporting, data mining, report automation with core banking system and SMS banking.  BNCTL will refine CBS integration with RTGS to fully automate interbank transactions. As the Timorese commercial bank, we focus on facilitating banking service to all Timorese people. This requires us to expand our coverage beyond having a branch in each municipality. To reach more people, we will expand our digital channels to 40 ATMs and 112 POS in 2020 completed with Digital Field Application allowing the Bank to engage business with reasonable cash flow as BNCTL agents.

Two [2] new Units were added in 2019 and 6 more are planned for 2020, in Dili and in municipalities. An agreement was completed to establish agency banking in Maubisse and Becora in 2019 and we expect it to be functional by the end of 2020. 

BNCTL expanded its international banking network in 2019 and now has corresponding bank relationship with Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Millennium BCP.  We reached an agreement with Union Pay International to introduce Union Pay debit and credit cards.  Implementation efforts are ongoing.

Our people and their competency are essential for BNCTL’s operations and growth. 

Our team grew by 35 employees and BNCTL is near optimal number of staff with 205 male and 110 female staff, a total to 315 staff.  We provided 50 internal and external trainings for total of 564 staff participants. In addition, BNCTL also engaged consultant for internal audit, risk management and legal function to improve internal controls and provide on the job training.  IT vendor engaged in 2019 provided trainings on CBS, network architecture and facilitated on the job trainings.

During my tenure, I will continue to lead the bank’s operations and the management team with objectives of increasing trust of public, improving service and growing the bank.  BNCTL will continue to improve its service and offerings with high integrity and professionalism, with strong orientation of service excellence, and towards a sustainable, healthy growth of Timor-Leste’s economy leading to the well-being of its people overtime.