By: Mir M.Hosseini
According to figures published in 1951, only %11 of all banknotes and coins in Iran were in bank deposits. This fact showed that people did not trust the state banking system. Understanding this vacuum, Ahmad Jalayer and Jahangir Tafazzoli were the main founders of the Bank Saderat which was registered on Sep, 6, 1952. The first branch of Bank Saderat started operating in Tehran's Bazaar on Nov, 3 with 13 employees.
Although Bank Saderat did not have those comparative advantages of public banks, its customer relations management worked as a successful strategy leading a rapid growth nationwide. On Dec, 31, 1953, the second branch was inaugurated at Qazvin Street in Tehran. Bank Saderat entered a serious competition with Bank Melli and began opening branches right at the opposite corner wherever its competitor had one. In 1961, Bank Saderat opened its first foreign branch in Hamburg, Germany.
After the 1979 revolution, inexperienced idealists, triggered by Toodeh Party took control of the economy and the whole banking system, including Bank Saderat was nationalized.
As a result of public sector's expansion and illegitimate loans, Iran's public banks have accumulated huge amounts of bad debts, international sanctions, and unqualified personnel have added to complexity of the economic puzzle. Bank Saderat currently has around 3200 branches and about 32000 employees and the state is in process of its privatization by selling its shares.