In collaboration with global accountancy firm A F Ferguson, the Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) has instituted the Pakistan Banking Awards, representatives of the two organisations said in a joint press conference on Wednesday.
An independent jury will evaluate the entries in eight different categories and announce its decisions on April 30. The awards will be given purely on merit, speakers at the briefing said, and will set a new benchmark in Pakistan’s banking industry.
The jury for the inaugural Pakistan Banking Awards includes former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan Syed Salim Raza, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance CEO Fuad Hashimi, State Life Insurance Corporation Chairperson Nargis Ghallo, former banking ombudsman Azhar Hameed, and former regional head for Citibank Middle East and Pakistan Shehzad Naqvi.
The first of the eight awards is titled the Bank the Unbanked Award. It will be given to a bank that has paid the most attention to financial inclusion by expanding its outreach through rural and low-income urban penetration and diversification among all segments of account holders, including female account holders.
The second one is the Best Microfinance Bank, which will be awarded to the best all-around microfinance bank in terms of penetration, outreach, efficiency and access to low-income communities across Pakistan.
The third one will be the Best Bank for Small Businesses and Agriculture. The bank with the strongest performance, diversification and quality of SME and agricultural lending nationwide will receive this award.
The award for the Best Bank for Corporate Finance and Capital Market Development will go to the bank that has excelled in promoting capital market development, deepening secondary markets and providing advisory services to optimise the efficient use of industrial and commercial assets.
The Best Customer Franchise award will be given to the bank with the most efficient service delivery and attention to customer requirements.
The Best Islamic Bank award will go to the bank that has made the most progress in extending and expanding its Islamic banking franchise and raising public awareness.
The Best Bank award will be given to the bank that has demonstrated the most significant contribution to the national development and most effective management of its resources.
The last category will reward the Best Environment and Social Governance Bank. The bank receiving this award will be the one that contributed the most in long-term sustainability, environment, employees, customers and communities.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2016.
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