Islamabad, Pakistan, November 22,
2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping improve access
to finance and support the growth of small businesses in Pakistan through
an agreement with Habib Bank, or HBL.
IFC has helped HBL develop a new suite
of financial services, HBL Business Faida, designed specifically for small-scale
entrepreneurs. HBL launched the services on November 1 to provide such
entrepreneurs access to financing so that they can expand their businesses
and create jobs. IFC has also helped HBL develop a new business model for
small and medium enterprise banking.
“HBL recognizes the importance of the
small and medium enterprise sector as a strong contributor to the country’s
economy,” said Mubashar Maqbool, HBL’s head of retail and commercial
lending. “We are committed to supporting this sector and aspire to be
a leader in this market.”
The bank, with IFC assistance, initially
is rolling out HBL Business Faida in the Lahore region, home to 45 percent
of the country’s small and medium enterprises. HBL then will launch the
program countrywide through its extensive branch network.
“We hope this groundbreaking initiative
will trigger the growth of small and medium enterprise banking in Pakistan,”
said Kaiser Naseem, head of IFC’s Bank Advisory Services in the Middle
East and North Africa. “The success of this joint IFC-HBL initiative will
demonstrate to other banks the benefits of lending to this market segment.”
Small-scale entrepreneurs in Pakistan
have long had trouble getting bank loans and other forms of financing,
which limits their growth prospects. With over 1,450 domestic branches
and the new suite of financing products, HBL is well positioned to serve
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, supporting the development of Pakistan’s
private sector. IFC has focused on mobilizing investments in power and
infrastructure, and providing access to finance for micro, small, and medium
enterprises through financial intermediaries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about HBL,