Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has been named Winner of Asiamoney best bank award 2019 in the following categories:
Best Domestic Bank:
After a miserable year in 2017, Pakistan’s biggest bank bounced back in 2018 to become, well, bigger still. With a new chief executive, ex-JPMorgan alumnus Muhammad Aurangzeb, at the helm, HBL rebounded to report annual profit after tax of PRs12.4 billion ($90 million) for the 2018 calendar year, up 41% from 2017.
Best Corporate and Investment Bank:
In a faltering economy, HBL’s corporate and investment banking business managed to stand tall in 2018. The commercial banking side experienced record growth, as its lending book expanded 21% in 2018 against the previous calendar year. At the end of 2018, HBL’s lending book was tracking at a record high of PRs63.8 billion ($460 million).
Best Bank for CSR:
HBL is controlled by the philanthropic foundation of the Aga Khan, the billionaire spiritual leader of the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam: so not surprisingly, corporate and social responsibility is considered part of the bank’s DNA.
The bank is mandated to contribute 1% of its annual taxed profit to the HBL Foundation, which was established in 2009 to promote the development and well-being of the underprivileged in Pakistan, one of the world’s poorest countries.
HBL’s new chief executive, Muhammad Aurangzeb, told Asiamoney that the philanthropic side is very important to him; as an Aga Khan-funded scholar to an Ivy League American college (Wharton), he feels compelled to give back to society. In 2018, HBL donated PRs128 million ($920,000) to the foundation and other direct causes, focussing on health and education.
For example, 29 doctors at Karachi’s Indus Hospital undertook emergency training, and are now providing free health care to the public.
The bank financed free eye surgical camps set up by the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center in the remote Baluchistan and Gilgit-Baltistan regions, serving 15,000 patients.
HBL also partnered with a range of hospitals and clinics serving the poor, and urged staff to become blood donors.
In education, HBL financed skills development in collaborations with the influential Helping Hands Welfare Association and various national charities. HBL support has also financed a new museum for the Citizens Archive of Pakistan in an underprivileged area of Lahore.