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 to be not only highlighted but duly acknowledged.
The 3rd Pakistan Banking Awards were held on Friday, 8t of November 2018, the highest accolade in Pakistan’s banking sector was organized by the Dawn Media Group, Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) and A. F Ferguson.
The awards were given by the chief guest State Bank Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmed, 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.
The awards were given in different categories and for different services, in which the banks have out-performed themselves; the areas rewarded included financial inclusion, customer convenience, technology in banking, Islamic banking, trade finance including SME and agriculture.
The jury members of the bank awards 2018 have a vast experience of working for the financial sector and the awards were decided after thorough review of product offerings and performance of all the nominee banks.
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.
Dr Hussain presided over the seven-member jury which took its decision founded on evaluation and performance of the banks which had sent their nominations for the Banking Awards.
Among all the banks who had participated in the bank awards, after in-depth analysis and scrutiny of the bank performances in all the categories the awards were presented.
The jury recognized Meezan Bank as the ‘Best Bank’ in Pakistan for its current as well as overtime standing in the country’s financial sector.
The Bank has previously been recognized at the same platform as the Best Islamic Bank in the country for years 2016 and 2017 for providing innovative Shariah-compliant financial solutions. It’s a phenomenal year on year growth, and contribution to the domain of Islamic finance in the region has also been a prominent factor in the past years.
The jury chose Dubai Islamic Bank as the Best Emerging Bank in Pakistan for 2018, The Bank also has received multiple awards at the prestigious Islamic Retail Banking Awards (IRBA) held in UAE this year, has also been awarded as the UAE’s largest Islamic bank, also received three other awards, including the ‘Strongest Islamic Retail bank in the World ‘recognizing its outstanding performance amongst the world’s Islamic retail banks.
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 and Mobilink Micro Finance Bank was chosen as the best bank in the category of Bank the Unbanked Award.
The State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa addressing the ceremony said that “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,” (Dawn,2018)
Mr Bajwa further added that “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.
“These awards honour and 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 pride for the winning institutions”, he said at the end of the award ceremony, encouraging banks and all the stakeholders in the financial sector for inclusive development of the society.
These events and accolades of appreciation create more enthusiasm and zeal to be better at what they do, as banks play a vital role in maintaining a smooth financial cycle, more people are encouraged to be part of the financial system by providing innovating products and services to the potential customers.