National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) recently won the globally recognized “The Bank of the Year in Pakistan 2015” award. The awards presentation ceremony was organized in London by The Banker which is a flagship publication of the Financial Times Group of UK. The Banker selects only one winning bank from each of 120 countries across the world. Over 1,000 entries were collected and judges selected winning banks based on which they believe have made the most progress over the past 12 months. From Pakistan, only NBP has been chosen for the award for the year 2015.
The Banker “Bank of the Year Awards” is regarded as the Oscars of the Banking Industry worldwide and for 90 years The Banker has been the world’s leading monthly journal of record for banks globally. The aim of the awards program is simple, to highlight industry wide excellence within the global banking community.
NBP is well known to be the largest bank of the country in terms of customers, rural penetration and lending portfolio. Being the “Nation’s Bank” it also handles government treasury business. The Bank is benchmarked as a catalyst for economic growth serving the diverse needs of the country through its large branch network, universal banking capabilities and multiple delivery channels. NBP has over 1,374 branches in Pakistan and has presence in 19 countries through 21 branches and affiliates covering all major financial centers of the world. NBP is considered as a brand accredited with trust and financial inclusion for unbanked segments. NBP enjoys the highest ‘AAA’ credit rating from both JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. and PACRA.
As of September 30, 2015, NBP’s pre-provision profit amounted to Rs. 30.9 billion compared to Rs. 22.8 billion for the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 35%. The Bank continues to focus on balancing growth, profitability and risk management resulting in a healthy increase in its balance sheet. The Bank met challenges of higher market competition and declining banking spreads through volume growth, diversification and capitalizing on its network for improving its balance sheet.
Foreign trade, home remittances and loan syndications are the key focus areas of NBP in overseas operations. The Bank caters to multiple transnational credit and trade business through its overseas franchise.
The Bank is a leading player in loan syndication, both domestic and international, for large corporate transactions. Recently NBP spearheaded the first ever local financing of an energy project worth US $ 1 billion as lead manager. NBP, partnering with the Government of Pakistan (GoP) for economic development is also creating a dedicated trade desk to address the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related trade and investment opportunities.
Launch of new products, cross-sell, creation of commercial and trade hubs, capacity building through training and technology transformation are among the major initiatives taken for further market penetration. During 2014-15 NBP achieved a number of milestones including the successful roll out of the core banking system “Profile” across its entire network. Expansion of ATM network from less than 300 to more than 800 was achieved with another 500 ATMs to be installed soon. The Bank further increased its product offering by adding new deposit related products and having the largest agriculture portfolio amongst the country’s commercial banks offers a variety of agriculture lending products for farmers.
NBP, to capitalize on growth in Islamic banking business is continuously expanding its Islamic banking branches (IBB) with a target of over 150 IBB by 2016.
During 2014-15 the Bank initiated roll out of a lending program for small business entrepreneurs. Since the launch of the youth business loan product (PMYBL), the Bank has made significant progress towards enabling Pakistani youth to startup businesses and improve their earning capacity. We are confident that this program with commercial viability will have a positive multiplier effect, thereby yielding sustainable economic growth through greater financial inclusion.
The Bank achieved major technology transformation to serve its customers better and align its business with best practices for improved governance and delivery. As part of its multi-channel strategy, the Bank is incessantly expanding and investing in alternate delivery channels including alliances with Telcos for greater outreach and improved customer services. The Bank has commenced such services as mobile banking, internet banking, SMS alert, utility bills payment through ATMs etc.
With the strategic objective of maintaining its leadership position and ensuring sustainable growth, the Bank aims to leverage its customer base and network through cross-selling and low cost deposit growth, expansion in retail, agriculture and SME segments and constant improvement in customer service, technology, risk management and operational processes.