We are very much under the grip of this age of digitization and virtual reality. The market place, be it product or financial, is undergoing rapid changes. The challenge is to ride the bandwagon of digitization and at the same time carry on with age-old values. The guiding idea for EBL to meet the new challenges of contemporary market place is to focus on the power of personal touch and relationship banking. No digital innovation can take the place of human touch. But that does not stop us to use the most up-to-date IT solutions for banking infrastructure.
State-of-the-art IT solutions is one of the key sources of strength for the bank. The second key area of our strength is our corporate governance. Effective corporate governance in accordance with high international standards is of paramount importance to Eastern Bank. Our system of corporate governance provides the basis for the responsible management, transparency of processes and compliance to regulatory bodies with a focus on sustainable value creation. Our continuous effort to adopt and adapt to international best practices in corporate governance has been recognized by Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB). We have got recognition for last three consecutive years at the ICSB National Award for Corporate Governance Excellence award.
Our relentless effort to upgrade and update on every account of standardization is reflected in our Operations department's recent ISO 9001: 2015 certification.
The third source of our strength is service excellence. In retail banking we are now considered by everyone as a leader in the market. The Singapore-based Asian Banker Awards for Excellence in Retail Banking found our performance as a retail bank at par with the best in banking. We have been awarded with the Best Retail Bank in Bangladesh accolade for the last four consecutive years.
Our financial stability is a tell-tale story of our sustainable growth over the 25 years journey. This year EBL is officially turning 25 on 19 August.
The rating by a top global agency like Moody's in March 2016 was a high point in our journey to excellence. Moody's assigned us Ba3 rating with stable outlook. The rating is equivalent to country sovereign of Bangladesh. EBL is the first company in the country to achieve this commendable feat.
In 2016 the jury of Euromoney Awards for Excellence conferred the Best Bank in Bangladesh for its professionalism, prudence, and growth. It also referred EBL's depleting NPL ratio as mark of health. In 2016 at 2.69% we kept the ratio well below 3% with our prudential risk management. Moody's has also vested their confidence in us for the second year by reconfirming Ba3 ratings with stable outlook.
We at EBL are not going to rest on our laurels and achieve new grounds and highs through leveraging our core strengths in different areas of functioning. As we are turning 25 this year we would like to make it special in every way possible.