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Union Bank and American Express launch credit cards

KARACHI (June 25 2003) : Union Bank and American Express on Tuesday launched 'Union Bank American Express Green and Gold Credit Cards' and, for the first time, American Express Credit Cards are being made available in Pakistan through partnership between the two.

Addressing a press conference, President of Union Bank, Shaukat Tarin, said that Card members would enjoy a range of benefits including revolving facility at a low service fee of 27 percent, balance transfer facility at an attractive interest rate of 18 percent and exclusive 'Founder Member' offer with special recognition and benefits.

He said the 27 percent fee for revolving facility is much lower than the existing rate in Pakistan, which is 36 percent.

He said he sighted great potential for the growth of the Credit Cards in the country and said if economic growth remains in between 5 to 7 percent, then in next ten years 2 to 3 million credit cards market would emerge here.

He opined that at the current state of economy, the market potential for the credit cards is 1 to 1.5 million.

He said Union Bank has been successfully managing the American Express Cards business in Pakistan by offering American Express Personal and Gold Charge Cards as well as Corporate Cards to a profile of highly affluent customers in the country.

He said Union Bank started with 8000 charged cards and now it has 20,000 charged cards.

While making example of Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank, Tarin said the default rate in credit cards is less than 3 percent, which is highly appreciable. He said even in United States, default rate is more than 3 percent.

He said Union Bank is aggressively moving towards the housing sector and would make it possible for all to purchase or build a house.

He said Union Bank is providing housing loan at 8.5 percent to 10.5 percent per annum.

He said now the time has come to pay instalment of loan less than the rental value.

He said currently the Union Bank was providing Rs 350 million as housing loan each month and in next few months it would be Rs 450 million per month.

Union Bank, incorporated in 1991, acquired Pakistani operations of two major international banks, Bank of America in July 2000 and Emirates Bank International in July 2002.

It has presence in 19 cities with 42 branches across the country.

Representative of American Express, Niranjan Sundararaj, was also present at the press conference.

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