The first Pakistan Banking Awards for the country (in collaboration with international accountancy firm A F Ferguson and Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP)) were held last Friday where UBL was named as the best bank which has made distinguished contributions to the country as well as showcased its resources management very efficiently as well.
According to organizers, these awards are merit based and completely free of advertisers’ pressures and even the jury is independent with eight different categories considered before giving out the results where SBP’s chief guest Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra was also present. The event also had presence of personalities including SBP Governor, Syed Salim Raza, Fuad Hashimi CEO of Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, Chairperson of State Life Insurance, Nargis Ghallo, former regional head for Citibank Middle East and Pakistan, Shehzad Naqvi as well as former banking ombudsman Azhar Hameed.
The Bank the unbanked Award was received by Tameer Bank as it gave greater attention to financial inclusion through expansion of rural and low income urban areas spreading diversity in all areas for account holders including female as well. Hence it was also given the bank award for penetration, outreach efficiency and low-income access communities within Pakistan in all sectors.
HBL got the best bank for Small Businesses and Agriculture Awards due to strong performance and god quality for agricultural lending and such factors as well. It also got the best Environmental and Social Governance Bank Award since it has the longest sustainability when it comes to communities, employees, environment as well as its customers.
Corporate Finance and Capital Market Development Award went to MCB Bank since it had the best capital, in-depth secondary market and advisory services for greater industrial and commercial assets optimal usage.
Bank Alfalah got the best customer franchise award due to its proficient delivery and attention for requirements by the customers.
The best Islamic bank award was received by Meezan Bank since it has expanded its Islamic Banking Franchise through different awareness programs as well.
Increased levels of banking investments on government papers were highlighted by the SBP Governor Raza as well.
It is also true that banking in Pakistan does not solely rely upon banking but also on risk free securities offered by the government namely market treasury bills, PIBs and Ijara Sukuk. SBP says that 79.9 pc is held by these three while non-banking have only 20.1 pc stock till the end of February 2016.
According to many analysts bank use credit for business and entrepreneurs as they disproportionately route the funds to these risk-less government securities came to Rs 6.8 trillion (29.6 pc) in 2015. Banks advances over a total reached more than Rs 369 billion as their investments crossed Rs 1.5 trillion too.