First ever local bank ATMs launched in Dili

News Hour:

The Government of Timor-Leste and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today officiated the launch of Banco Nacional de Comércio de Timor-Leste’s (BNCTL) first ever automated teller machines (ATMs).

Estanislau da Silva, Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Paolo Spantigati from ADB’s Timor-Leste Resident Mission participated in an ATM inauguration ceremony in Dili.

“This is an important milestone of the commercial transformation of BNCTL, which will ensure that more people have better access to a range of financial services,” said Mr. Da Silva. “The new ATMs will allow BNCTL customers the luxury of anytime banking.”

ADB technical assistance supported the transformation of BNTCL from Instituição de Micro Finanças de Timor-Leste into a commercial bank with an unrestricted banking license in July 2011. It is the country’s first locally owned bank, providing services mainly to the poorer sections of the population and small businesses on commercial terms. The government, as the sole shareholder, and the central bank have now directed BNCTL to play a more active role in the banking sector.

“ADB is pleased to be part of BNTCL’s continued growth, which will help improve the provision of financial services critical to increasing the living standards of all East Timorese people,” said Mr. Spantigati.

ADB is helping the Government of Timor-Leste upgrade the bank’s core banking system, institutional capacity, and diversification of its products and services to ensure that it can operate sustainably. ADB will also support BNCTL to introduce mobile phone, internet and SMS banking services.

Following the ATM launch, BNCTL will embark on a campaign to educate existing and prospective customers on how to apply for and use ATM cards to withdraw cash and transfer funds.

Timor-Leste joined ADB in 2002 and has since received cumulative loans of $176.6 million, grants of $92.5 million, and technical assistance funding of over $39.1million.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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