IFC to help develop SME banking model for Bank Alfalah
This new business model is intended to help further improve financial access to small and medium enterprises in Pakistan and offer financial advisory service through new tools and skills being developed, increasing their ability to repay loans, improve their business practices and hence support the growth of their businesses.
This initiative will greatly strengthen Bank Alfalah’s capabilities to service the bank’s SME customers with extensive solutions and expand its market share in this fast growing segment.
Mr. Atif Bajwa, CEO Bank Alfalah said on the occasion, “There is tremendous growth in the small-scale entrepreneurs in Pakistan; however they have been long troubled getting the financing access and right financial advisory services for their financial and banking needs, which limits their growth prospects. Our strategic focus for the coming years is to bridge this gap and become partners for our SME. Our interest in seeking help from IFC is intended to strengthen and refine such capacities and attain the next level of efficiency by offering our customers an assortment of asset and liability products along with dedicated platforms of convenient, easy to use, low cost transaction solutions and advisory services across our far reaching branch network.”
He continued, “IFC carries a rich history of extending specialized services in developing and refining business strategies across various emerging economies around the globe, particularly our region. We are certain that with their assistance and State Bank of Pakistan’s support, we will become fully geared to unleash the promising potential of this significantly under banked sector and the most fundamental source of economic development and growth of the country in the coming years.”
Kaiser Naseem, Head of IFC’s Bank Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa said, “This visionary project by Bank Alfalah will help in bringing SME customers at the forefront of the banking sector’s focus in Pakistan and the success of this joint initiative will surely demonstrate to the financial market the tremendous benefits of serving this segment in the country.”
Bank Alfalah is a progressive, full service banking institution operating in Pakistan since 1992. Owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Group with assets worth Rs. 468 billion, the Bank has a network presence of 406 branches spanning 158 cities across the country with international presence in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, a wholesale banking unit in Bahrain and a representative office in the UAE. The Bank services more than 1 million corporate, institutional, personal, small business, agricultural, Islamic and asset financing customers.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives.
Established in 1956, IFC is owned by 184 member countries, a group that collectively determines their policies. IFC’s work in more than a 100 developing countries allows companies and financial institutions in emerging markets to create jobs, generate tax revenues, improve corporate governance and environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities.
Pakistan is a priority country for IFC. During the last three years, IFC has ramped up its investments and advisory services work in the country, helping to support the development of Pakistan’s private sector. The organization has focused on mobilizing investments in power and infrastructure, and providing access to finance to micro, small and medium enterprises through financial intermediaries.