Meezan bags top honours at banking awards

Published November 25, 2023
KARACHI: State Bank Governor Jameel Ahmed presents the award for ‘Best Bank’ to Irfan Siddiqui, founding president and CEO of Meezan Bank, during a ceremony on Friday.—Dawn
KARACHI: State Bank Governor Jameel Ahmed presents the award for ‘Best Bank’ to Irfan Siddiqui, founding president and CEO of Meezan Bank, during a ceremony on Friday.—Dawn

KARACHI: After bagging the title of Best Consumer Bank last year, Meezan Bank Ltd was declared the ‘Best Bank’ at the eighth Pakistan Banking Awards 2023, held on Friday.

This year, the number of participating banks has increased from the previous year, while two new categories have been added to include Fintech companies as well.

The award ceremony was held by the Institute of Bankers Pakistan, which organises the annual event in partnership with the Dawn Media Group and in collaboration with A.F. Ferguson and Company.

Speaking at the occasion, State Bank Governor Jameel Ahmed briefly discussed the five-year ‘Vision 2028’ plan, emphasising that banks were required to move faster with the latest technology, particularly with the digitalisation of the financial sector.

He said banks face major challenges regarding next generation digital banking, and adopting the latest technology is a must in order to stay abreast of global trends. Digital banking, he said, was revolutionising the landscape for the industry.

While emphasizing the need for stability and financial inclusion, he said that security was another challenge for the financial sector. He said that banks were required to improve their cyber security plans to avoid shocks.

A strong and resilient financial system is pivotal for macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth, he said, adding that financial stability remained a key priority area for the SBP.

However, he expressed concern over the widening gender gap. There is a wide disparity in financial access with regard to gender, with men outnumbering women among accountholders a ration of 3:1.

While commenting on the current account deficit, he expressed the hope that the CAD would be around 1.5 per cent the GDP for this fiscal FY24.

The Habib Bank bagged three awards, while Bank Alfalah managed to hang on to its crown of being the best digital bank for the second consecutive year.

The jury for the awards was led by former State Bank governor Saleem Raza, and assisted by top bankers.

List of award winners

  1. Best Bank: Meezan Bank

  2. Best Microfinance Bank: HBL Microfinance

  3. Best Digital Banking: Bank Alfalah

  4. Best Emerging Bank: Faysal Bank

  5. Best Bank in Agri Financing: Habib Bank

  6. Best Bank for Small and Medium Businesses: Bank of Punjab

  7. Best Consumer Bank: Habib Bank

  8. Best Bank for Inclusion: Mobilink Microfinance Bank

  9. Best Fintech (Non-Bank Entity): Haball and NayaPay

  10. Best Contribution by Non-Bank Entity: National Rural Support Programme

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2023

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