SBP chief strikes optimistic note at banking awards

Published January 9, 2021
KARACHI: SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir with award winners at Pakistan Banking Awards on Friday. — APP
KARACHI: SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir with award winners at Pakistan Banking Awards on Friday. — APP

KARACHI: Balance is tilting from adversities to opportunities for Pakistan, said Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir on Friday.

He was addressing the 5th Pakistan Banking Awards on Friday where Meezan Bank Ltd (MBL) was declared the Best Bank of Pakistan for the calendar year 2020, while the Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) won three awards in three different categories.

The award ceremony was jointly organised by the Institute of Bankers Pakistan, Dawn Media Group and A.F. Ferguson & Co.

The SBP governor awarded the banks after giving a detail picture of the financial institutions, economy and role of the central bank and its efforts to improve the economy despite challenging situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “While we have lost lives across the country including the State Bank and financial institutions, the situation provided us an opportunity to work unitedly,” he said.

He added that it was also an opportunity to think and devise policies and strategies to support the people, economy and the country hit by the Covid-19.

Meezan wins Best Bank; HBL bags three awards

“The State Bank and banks injected unprecedented liquidity into the economy in a short period of time and it helped the economy to keep running and millions of people were saved from hunger and joblessness as they were directly provided liquidity,” Reza noted. He said more than 90 per cent small enterprises benefited from the State Bank’s scheme to provide money in different categories.

He said the country crushed the first wave of Coronavirus and will hopefully defeat the second wave as well.

He said the improvement in the digitalisation has been achieved as the country received $275 million through Roshan Digital Account (RDA). He briefly discussed the State Bank’s effort for financing of housing sector and said the potential is huge for the development of housing and construction sector.

Earlier, Chief Executive Officer of Dawn Media Group Hameed Haroon in his video message appreciated the performance of the Pakistan Banking Awards team, the jury and stakeholders. He said the banking award succeeded to develop competition among the financial institutions.

HBL received three awards as Best Bank for Small and Medium Business, Best Investment Bank and Best Customer Franchise Bank.

The Best Micro Finance Bank award was given to Khushhali Bank. National Bank was awarded as the Best Bank for Agriculture lending.

Faisal Bank was awarded as the Best Emerging Bank for 2020. In a new category two awards were given to the companies as the Most Innovative Business Award. Karandaz and Akhoowat were jointly awarded for this category.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2021

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