Friday the 13th is usually considered as a day full of unfortunate events. However for the banking sector it proved to be quite the opposite as Pakistan Banking Awards 2016 were held in collaboration with globally renowned accountancy firm A F Ferguson and the Institute of Bankers Pakistan. The awards pride themselves as being merit-based, transparent and free of any influence from the advertisers according to the organizers.
The ceremony was attended by Mr. Ashraf Mehmood Wathra, Governor State Bank of Pakistan where an independent jury evaluated all the entries in eight different categories before finally announcing the winners.
The jury for the inaugural Pakistan Banking Awards included former SBP governor Syed Salim Raza, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance CEO Fuad Hashmi, State Life Insurance Corporation Chairperson Nargis Ghallo, former banking ombudsman Azhar Hameed, and former regional head for Citibank Middle East and Pakistan Shehzad Naqvi.
Speaking on the occasion, former SBP governor Raza highlighted the increased levels of banks’ investments in government papers.
United Bank Limited was awarded as the best bank for playing a major role in national development along with efficient management of its resources.
Habib Bank Limited clinched the Best Bank for Small Businesses and Agriculture Award for its strong performance, diversification and quality of small and medium enterprises (SME) and agricultural lending across the country. HBL also took the award for the Best Environment and Social Governance Bank for contributing the most in terms of the long-term sustainability of the environment, employees, customers and communities.
Next, Tameer Microfinance Bank bagged the Bank the Unbanked Award. It received the award for directing special focus to financial inclusion by increasing its outreach through rural and low-income urban penetration and diversification among all segments of account holders, including female account holders. It also got the Best Microfinance Bank Award for being the best all-around microfinance bank in terms of penetration, outreach, efficiency and access to low-income communities across Pakistan.
Best Bank for Corporate Finance and Capital Market Development award went to Muslim Commercial Bank for excelling in promoting capital market development, deepening secondary markets and providing advisory services to optimise the efficient use of industrial and commercial assets.
Pakistan Banking awards would’ve been incomplete without the inclusion of Islamic Banking as well. Here, Meezan Bank received the Best Islamic Bank Award for making the most progress in extending and expanding its Islamic banking franchise and raising public awareness.
Bank Alfalah won the best customer franchise award for its outstanding service delivery and attention on catering to customer’s requirements.
It’s great to see the banking sector enjoying a healthy environment and competition aimed at providing banking consumers in Pakistan top quality services. We hope that the banks that failed to clinch an award this time around will strive hard to provide better services and become deserving for the awards next year!