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KARACHI: The third Pakistan Banking Awards launching ceremony was held on Wednesday and was widely appreciated by the high-ups of the financial sector.

The Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) and DAWN Media group in collaboration with A.F Ferguson & Co have taken this initiative which provides a platform to recognise the contribution of institutions making a marked difference in the world of banking.

“The financial sector is instrumental in the national development of a country. The role of the institutions contributing to this sector in various forms needs not only to be highlighted but should also be duly acknowledged,” the State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa said addressing the ceremony.

“I am strongly encouraged by maximum participation from banks and supporting institutions and would like to see more and more entrants in this event every year. These awards will showcase their efforts in promoting and projecting Pakistan as a progressive nation that is advancing towards economic stability and developing into a welfare state,” he said.

While expressing his appreciation for the jury, he said that in order to ensure transparency and independence at all levels, the honourable jury would maintain the secrecy and nominations would be made on merit.

“These awards promote the efforts of banks for developing new and innovative products and services, while giving them the incentive to enhance their performance for the coming year. They encourage banks to gauge their standing within the industry by setting benchmarks. Most importantly, they inculcate a spirit of healthy competition as the awards are a great source of pride for the winning institutions,” he concluded.

While talking to media, he said all stakeholders involved in low-cost housing financing have been consulted to highlight the difficulties in order to create a framework policy. After the analysis and formation of policy, low cost housing finance will grow in the country, he added.

IBP Chief Executive Hussain Lawai said 2018 awards will serve as a distinguished platform to promote, recognise and acknowledge the contribution of the banking industry towards enhancing Pakistan’s economy.

The jury for comprises of former SBP Governor Dr Ishrat Husain (chairman), former Bank Alfalah President/CEO Atif Bajwa, Mr. Naved A. Khan, former United Bank Ltd President/CEO Atif R. Bukhari, Institute of Business Administration Dean Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Pakistan Business Council CEO Ehsan Ali Malik, and English Biscuit Manufacturers CEO Dr. Zeelaf Munir.

He informed that a new category “Best Emerging Bank” has been added while the name of “Best Bank for Corporate Finance & Capital Market Development” has been changed to “Best Investment Banking.” All other awards will remain the same.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2018