The First And Biggest Islamic Bank In Pakistan

As the first Islamic bank, Meezan Bank actively involved in awareness of Islamic Banking

COUNTRY PANORAMA 16.07.2021, 16:50
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The First And Biggest Islamic Bank In Pakistan

Meezan Bank has the largest branch network among all Islamic Banks in Pakistan and plays an active role in creating awareness of Islamic banking. The Bank organizes periodic training and seminars and supports a variety of educational institutions. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, who informed Katılım Finans about the current position of the Islamic finance industry in Pakistan, commented on recent studies and plans regarding Islamic banking in Pakistan.

Can you tell us about the activities of Meezan Bank?

Meezan Bank is the first and biggest Islamic Bank in Pakistan, providing a complete retail and business financing product suite. Meezan Bank has approx. 55% share in total Islamic Banking industry of Pakistan. Meezan Bank is the Joint financial advisor to the Ministry of Finance for the issuance of GOP sukuks. The bank has been awarded the Best Bank award in 2018 and 2020 by the Pakistan Banking Awards. JCR-VIS has awarded Meezan Bank AAA rating. As the first Islamic bank, it is actively involved in awareness of Islamic Banking among the masses and conducts regular public awareness seminars. Meezan Bank supports various educational institutes for capacity building of the industry.

What are the factors that distinguIsh Meezan Bank from other banks In Islamic Banking?

Meezan Bank's Shariah Board comprises reputable Shariah Scholars, including Sheikh Taqi Usmani Sb. and Sheikh Esam M. Essaq. Meezan Bank has the highest return on equity (ROE) among all the Islamic Banks in Pakistan. The main factors that distinguish Meezan Bank in the Islamic Banking sector of Pakistan are mainly providing the most extensive product suite among Islamic banks, having the most significant Shariah compliance and Shariah audit team, as well as having the largest branch network among all Islamic banks in the country, which depicts huge customer loyalty. Moreover, Meezan Bank has the largest deposit base in Pakistan among all other Islamic banks, more than PKR 1 trillion. 

Can you briefly describe the development of Islamic Finance In Pakistan?

Amendments were made in the Banking Companies Ordinance to accommodate PLS based banking. Creation of Council of Islamic Ideology. Approval of clauses in the constitution of Pakistan demanding the elimination of Riba. Modaraba companies were introduced. Zakat and Ushr systems were introduced. The Federal Shariah court declared mark-up procedures un-Islamic. Shari'ah Appellate Bench of Supreme called for the establishment of an interest-free financial system. SBP developed a criterion for issuance of a license for Islamic Banks. In 2002 the first Islamic Bank (Meezan Bank) was established. Islamic Banking Dept and an independent Shariah Board of State Bank of Pakistan was established. 

What are the most Important factors that contrIbuted to the development of Islamic Finance In Pakistan?

Strong support from the regulator for promoting Islamic finance in Pakistan in recognition of which SBP was also awarded the best regulator for Islamic Banks in 2020 by IFN of the RED Money Group Malaysia. Strong religious sentiments of masses in Pakistan against interest, as presented in the KAP Study that shows 95% of the population considered riba as prohibited.

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