KARACHI (August 05 2004): The State Bank on Wednesday issued a licence to Bank Al Habib Limited for its first Islamic Banking Branch located in Karachi.
The licence was handed over by Pervez Said, Director, Islamic Banking Department, SBP, to Abbas D Habib, Chief Executive, Bank Al Habib, at a ceremony held at State Bank premises.
With the issuance of this licence, the total number of conventional banks which are having stand-alone Islamic Banking Branches has increased to six.
Five other Banks which have been issued licences for Islamic Banking Branches are Muslim Commercial Bank (3 branches), Bank Alfalah (7 branches) and one branch each of Habib Bank AG Zurich, Bank of Khyber and Standard Chartered Bank.
One full-fledged Islamic Bank, viz. Meezan Bank Limited with licence for 14 branches, has already been operating since March, 2002.
These licences have been issued pursuant to a three-pronged strategy adopted by the State Bank of Pakistan for promotion of Islamic Banking in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Pervez said that the State Bank “is committed” to promote Islamic Banking in the country.
He said that the State Bank is now issuing licences for setting up of Islamic Banks, Islamic Banking Subsidiaries and Islamic Banking Branches. He expressed hope that the addition of new players in the market would ensure better services to the customers of Islamic Banking.
Abbas Habib said that future of Islamic Banking industry in Pakistan was extremely promising due to growing demand from the customers. He appreciated the role of State Bank in promoting Islamic Banking in the country by following a proactive approach.