KARACHI: Meezan Bank Limited on Friday won the 3rd Pakistan Banking Awards in the category of the Best Bank for 2018, while Habib Bank Ltd and Bank Alfalah fetched two awards in two different categories.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity and former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr Ishrat Husain chaired the seven-member jury that based its decision on evaluation and performance of the banks, which applied for nomination for the Banking Awards, over time as well as their current standing.
The 3rd Pakistan Banking Awards ceremony was organised by the Dawn Media Group, Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) and A.F. Ferguson.
The jury decided to choose Dubai Islamic Bank as the Best Emerging Bank in Pakistan for 2018.
HBL and Bank Alfalah received two awards in two different categories. In the category of best bank for small/medium businesses, Bank Alfalah was awarded the best bank. In the same category, HBL was awarded for its best performance in the agriculture sector. HBL received another award for the Best Investment Banking in Pakistan. Bank Alfalah also received a second award for Best Customer Franchise.
The Best Micro Finance Bank Award went to Khushhali Microfinance Bank.
Mobilink Micro Finance Bank was chosen as the best bank in the category of Bank the Unbanked Award.
The awards were given by State Bank Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmed, who was the chief guest on the occasion, Dawn CEO Hameed Haroon, Dr Ishrat Husain, Shabber Zaidi of A.F. Ferguson and acting chief executive of the Institute of Bankers Pakistan Farooq Shaikh.
Earlier in a detailed talk, Dr Ishrat Husain urged all banks to enlist their names for nomination for the Banking Awards.
Analysing the current banking situation in Pakistan, the former SBP governor said banks were on a sound footing. He said Pakistani bankers were no less competent than any other banker across the world.
However, Dr Husain observed that banks in the country were not mobilising their deposits like those of the neighbouring countries, which resulted in poor savings. A low-saving rate is the main hindrance in the way of higher investment that brings growth to the economy. Giving a comparative analysis, he shared statistics related to India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He said the figures showed that Pakistani banks were far from the successes these countries had achieved in the banking sector.
Mr Haroon, the Dawn CEO, expressed satisfaction that the 3rd Banking Awards established its credibility. He thanked the jury for their hard work and impartiality for the evaluation of the banks for the awards. Recognising banks’ achievement through the awards was a great success for the organisers and the jury, he added.
Mr Zaidi of A.F. Ferguson said the banking industry was in a difficult situation and provided his analysis of the banking sector in the background of economic growth and uncertainties in the country.
SBP Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmed read out the speech of State Bank Governor Tariq Bajwa, who could not manage to attend the award ceremony.
The State Bank governor discussed both banking and economy in his speech. The State Bank was working hard for stability in the economy, he said while outlining the measures being taken by the SBP through monetary policies to keep a balance in the economy and all segments related to the economy, including banking.
Other members of the Dr Husain-led jury were former president and CEO of Bank Alfalah Atif Bajwa, former president and CEO of Faysal Bank Ltd Naveed A. Khan, former president and CEO of United Bank Ltd Atif R. Bukhari, Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration Dr Farrokh Iqbal, CEO and Director of the Pakistan Business Council Ehsan Ali Malik and CEO and MD of English Biscuit Manufacturers Dr Zeelaf Munir.
Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018