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HBL: proud to be Pakistani

Article - April 29, 2014
Pakistan’s Habib Bank Limited has played a major role in the country’s development for more than 70 years
HBL SERVES ITS 6 MILLION PLUS CUSTOMERS THROUGH A NETWORK OF 1,600+ BRANCHES AND 1,300 CASH MACHINES
In 1941, Habib Bank (HBL) was established in Mumbai. However, the bank’s history soon was tied to Pakistan’s history, becoming the country’s first commercial bank in 1947 with new headquarters in Karachi. Nauman Dar, President and CEO of HBL, proudly highlights that “This is the bank where the founder of the country, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, opened his personal account.”

On January 1 1974, Habib Bank came under state control as part of the Pakistani government’s nationalisation programme. During privatisation decades later, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) acquired majority shares in the bank on February 26 2004.

HBL has been recognised time and time again for its accomplishments. For example, its successful landmark transaction of Pakistan’s first hydro-electric based independent power producer won Euromoney’s ‘Middle East Deal of the Year Award’ in 2010. And in 2012, HBL was named as the winner of the ‘Best Retail Bank in Pakistan Award’ during the 12th International Excellence in Retail Financial Services programme.

“This is the bank where the founder of the country, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, opened his personal account”

Nauman Dar,
President and CEO 
of HBL

Today, HBL – whose long-term rating is AAA and short-term rating is A-1+ with a stable outlook – gladly serves more than 6 million customers via upwards of 1,300 ATMs and 1,600 branches. With overseas branches in 24 countries, including the UAE, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, France and the USA, HBL efficiently reaches the Pakistani diaspora.

The bank offers retail consumers current and savings accounts, personal and auto loans and a range of credit card products. Corporate banking customers can also benefit from a variety of loans and financing, foreign exchange, letters of credit, letters of guarantee and corporate cash management solutions.

HBL’s investment banking division is Pakistan’s most active corporate finance house in gaining, structuring and executing transactions. Indeed, its experience in managing more than $18 billion in transactions since 2005 is unparalleled. 
 
Community involvement

Perhaps it is its success that has allowed the bank to focus on the continued development of both company and country. HBL’s connection to the AKFED strengthens this. For example, the HBL’s overdraft product, SalaryPlus, provides holders of HBL salary accounts with overdraft limits so that they can draw funds against their assigned limits, allowing customers to take care of their financial needs in difficult times.

The HBL Foundation, HBL’s philanthropic and social development arm, goes beyond helping bank customers. Last year, the foundation granted five “perpetual golden scholarships” to benefit students at GC University Lahore that are
experiencing financial challenges.

HBL also seeks to educate younger children, regardless of social standing, in the foundations of personal financial management. The bank partners with civil organisation Idara-e-Taleem-O-Aagahi (ITA) at children’s literature festivals throughout Pakistan, where HBL teaches children about the importance of personal savings.

In a country where nearly 90 per cent of the population does not have a bank account, educating children in banking is certainly addressing one aspect of the problem. In terms of improving access, HBL has signed an agreement with NADRA Technologies Limited (a subsidiary of the National Database & Registration Authority) to offer branchless banking at 5,500 NADRA e-Sahulat outlets, using the name HBL Express. The goal is financial inclusion, which they believe will lead to inclusive growth.

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Nobumasa Ishiai

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