The first Pakistan Banking Awards 2016 were held yesterday at the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi. Organised by The Dawn Media Group and The Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) in collaboration with A.F. Ferguson & Co., the Awards honoured excellence and innovation in banking.
United Bank Limited won the ‘Best Bank’ Award; Tameer Micro Finance Bank Limited clinched two awards (in the ‘Bank The Unbanked’ and ‘Best Micro Finance Bank’ categories). Habib Bank Limited also received two awards – in the ‘Best Environmental Social and Governance’ and ‘Best Bank For Small Businesses & Agriculture’ categories.
The remaining awards went to Muslim Commercial Bank Limited (‘Best Bank For Corporate Finance & Capital Market Development’), Bank Alfalah Limited (‘Best Customer Franchise’) and Meezan Bank Limited (‘Best Islamic Bank’).
The awards were presented to the winners by Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan; Hussain Lawai, Chief Executive, IBP; Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, Senior Partner, A.F. Ferguson & Co.; Amber Haroon-Saigol, Chairman, The Dawn Media Group; and Hameed Haroon, CEO, The Dawn Media Group.
The Jury, led by Syed Salim Raza, former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, included Azhar Hamid, former Banking Mohtasib Pakistan & former Country Head, SCB Pakistan; Fuad Azim Hashimi, President and CEO, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance; Nargis Ghaloo, Chairperson, State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan; and Shehzad Naqvi, former Regional Head, Citibank Middle East & Pakistan.
During his speech at the Awards, Mr Raza stressed that in order to improve the overall economy, banks in Pakistan should increase investment in the private sector, as public sector lending stands at 7,968 billion rupees (68%) compared to 3,685 billion rupees (32%) for the private sector.
The Ceremony was choreographed by Catwalk Productions, led by Frieha Altaf, and hosted by media personalities Zarrar Khuro and Razeshta Sethna.
The entertainment included musical performances by leading musicians from across Pakistan. They included Sultan Chane, Humaira Channa, Asad Abbas, Mohammed Hassan, Mai Dhai and Akhtar Chenal Zehri. Most of the performances included renderings of Sufi kalaam. The final performance was by the Sung Fakirs from Bhit Shah, who rendered Lal Meri Pat – an ode to the Sufi Saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.