Karachi, June 29, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Islamic Finance Industry is the fastest growing segment of Pakistan’s financial services sector. Recognizing the increase in the demand for Islamic Banking products and services, National Bank of Pakistan in 2013, re-launched its Islamic Banking initiative under the Brand name of “Aitemaad” offering Shariah Compliant products and services through its nationwide network of almost 30 cities spread with around 50 fully dedicated Islamic Banking Branches. This was stated by Mufti Ehsan Waquar Ahmad Shariah Advisor at NBP-Aitemaad here in Peshawar.
NBP-Aitemaad has grown its size and expanded its branch network to around 50Islamic Banking Branches with a target of reaching 100 Islamic Banking branches by the end of 2015. The growth has been attributed from opening new branches and converting NBP conventional branches to NBP Aitemaad Islamic Banking Branches he said.
Through conversion process, customers of conventional branches are given the option to bank according to Shariah Principles. In the first Phase 15 NBP Conventional branches were to be converted, however seeing the response from the customers, the Bank decided to convert 15 branches every quarter, with an objective of having 100 Aitemaad Islamic Banking Branches by the end of year 2015. As of 30thJune 2015, two phases of 15 branches each have been successfully converted to Aitemaad Islamic Banking Branches.
While looking forward to the future Mufti Ehsan said, within the next few years NBP-Aitemaad would become a major player in the Islamic Banking industry with a branch network spread all across Pakistan concentrating in the rural areas where Islamic Banking option is rarely available. Main motive of this expansion plan is to provide Shariah compliant banking services to preferably those areas of country where no other Islamic Bank is operating while NBP’s Aitemaad has its niche market there on the basis of its large network.
Along with the branch expansion process, NBP Aitemaad has given its customers a bunch of facilities; Online services i.e. connectivity of all the Islamic banking branches with each other and with more than 1300 conventional branches; and in addition to this, most of the branches will be having ATM machines installed, which will help serve customers of Islamic and Conventional Branches. NBP Aitemaad has managed to arrange ATM cards for their customers with significantly unique design and features depicting exquisite Islamic artistic essence, so that the customer may feel the privilege of having ATM Card offered by an Islamic Bank.
In order to equip the branch staff with proper understanding and knowledge of Islamic Banking concepts, products and working, staff of the branches and all new inductees in Islamic Banking Group, are thoroughly trained by the banks Organizational Training and Development Department. In additional to internal training, staff is regularly sent on external trainings as well. NBP-Aitemaad has recently arranged training programs with SBP-NIBAF (State Bank of Pakistan’s Training Institution) to conduct exclusive Islamic Banking training for the staff of NBP-Aitemaad.
At the moment, Aitemaad is catering to its customers’ needs through various Shariah compliant deposits as well as financing products. NBP-Aitemaad offers Shariah Compliant General Banking Operations. On the asset side, we are offering Ijarah, Murabahah and Diminishing Musharakahat present. While on the liability side, remunerative and non-remunerative deposit products. Based on the market demand and requirements, we are developing more products on deposits as well as financing side.
On the deposit side Shahid Dar said, Aitemaad plans to launch Aitemaad Tajir (remunerative current account offering free services for business and corporate), Aitemaad Zaireen (Deposit Scheme for Haj and Umrah), Aitemaad Muhafiz (A saving plan for future needs coupled with Takaful facility), Aitemaad Seniors (Deposit scheme for Senior Citizens). On the financing side, Aitemaad plans to launch products for Consumer Durables, Car Ijarah, House Financing, Salam, Istisn’a and Running Musharakah.
In addition to the above, other key services provided by the branches of NBP-Aitemaad include issuance of Payment Orders, Bank Drafts, E-Remittance, Western Union, Government Collection, and Utility Bills Collection.
National Bank of Pakistan, through NBP-Aitemaad is providing the nation an opportunity to maintain their financial affairs in a Shariah Compliant manner. In a short span of time, NBP Aitemaad has gained customers confidence and perception of banking with NBP by providing the customers efficient and modern ways of Shariah Compliant banking.
For more information, contact:
Syed Ibne Hassan
Vice President / Divisional Head (A)
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
Corporate Communication and Brand Management Division
Head Office, NBP Building, I.I. Chundrigar Road,