Mar 18 - 24, 2002
Habib Bank AG Zurich (to be referred as HBZ) was
incorporated in 1967 in Zurich, Switzerland by a renowned family of
bankers in Pakistan (Habib Family) with a paid-up capital of Swiss
Francs 2 million. At the time of formation of HBZ, the Habib Family
also owned Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL) in Pakistan with an asset base of
over PRs. 12,597 million and had over 927 branches in Pakistan and 42
branches overseas. HBL was the largest commercial bank in Pakistan and
ranked amongst the 200 largest banks in the world. In 1974 with the
nationalization of Pakistani banks, the Habib Family lost the
ownership of HBL and was left with only HBZ, which at that time had
very modest operations, with only one branch in Zurich.
Since Mr. H.M. Habib was a regular visitor to the
court of His Highness Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum in Dubai,
when the banks in Pakistan were nationalized, H.H. Sheikh Rashid
extended an invitation to the Habibs to open a bank in Dubai which
they wholeheartedly accepted. A branch of HBZ was opened on August 6,
1974 in Murshid Bazar in Dubai. The first account holder of the bank
was H.H. Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
HBZ, as a foreign bank, now has 8 established
branches in the UAE. HBZ has presence in 12 countries through 33
established branches and subsidiaries. The Habib Family has been
associated with the banking industry for over six decades. The bank
has a strong tradition, solid foundation and a history of superior
management. It enjoys a rich fund of goodwill with international banks
and the business community, which is associated with the name of Habib.
Service With Security: The motto is a reflection of
the bank's drive towards excellence with continual emphasis on its
conservative management philosophy which is also evident from the
• To retain and expand the customer base by
providing a competitive, specialized and personal quality service in
full compliance with the Swiss and local regulatory requirements.
• To provide a comprehensive range of commercial,
consumer and private banking services to a broad base of personal and
business customers especially from our niche market.
• To support the sound and efficient operations
of the bank by regular monitoring and development of the
infrastructure in terms of human resource, IT, procedures and
• To be a well and conservatively managed bank,
showing reasonable and controlled growth, ensuring an adequate return
for the shareholders.
• To keep risks to a minimum through a clear
policy of broad diversification in terms of geography and product mix
by spreading the bank's credit and trade financing activities over a
wide range of customers with emphasis on secured, short-term and
HBZ product line
HBZ provides a wide range of financial services
including deposit accounts, credit facilities, funds transfer,
investment banking, private banking, electronic banking and various
other services. The bank has a very strong base in import and export
trade such as letters of credit, letters of guarantee, pre and post
shipment finance for exporters, bridge financing and loan against
merchandise and corporate finance.
The private banking group with its strong expertise
in investment is well placed to cater to the needs of high net worth
individuals for investment in fixed income instruments, equities,
options, futures, funds etc. The Bank's treasury department is fully
equipped to assist and advise clients on profitable investments in
various currencies. Investments in metal and safe custody services are
also offered as part of international financial planning.
Last year HBZ became the first bank in the UAE and
possibly in the Middle East to offer WAP-based banking services. The
facilities that are provided, use leading-edge technology that can be
accessed through Wireless Application Protocol. Other services include
Web banking, accessing ATM SWITCH facilities and GSM push banking for
both commercial and private customers. Recently the bank has again
made a break-through by introducing online LC facility and third party
money transfers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Customer base/key suppliers
HBZ's niche market consists of the trading segment
generally banking for their import and export needs. The bank also has
a good client base of local customers and is now moving to capture
high net-worth client base for priority and private banking services.
The key suppliers are our correspondent banks, IT suppliers and
consultants, auditors, banking institutions and relevant vendors.
Since its inception, HBZ has focused in
distinguishing itself by providing superior services to its customers.
With its roots running deep into the long tradition of banking in
Zurich, the Bank has retained its status as a family owned bank,
giving priority to customer satisfaction and its reputation rather
HBZ uses a single all-in-one banking software (hPLUS),
which was written by it's software developers. It is based on a core
of 55 modules, delivering approximately 1,000 banking options. HBZ was
one of the first corporations worldwide to embrace Sun's Java
technology. Java technology is a fundamentally new way of computing,
based on the power of networks and the idea that the same software
should run on many different kinds of computers, consumer gadgets and
HBZ is the first bank in the world whose name was
listed in Sun Microsystems's Java Technology Manual along with
renowned companies like IBM, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories etc.
HBZ has emerged as a leader in technology. Recently the 'Bankers
Middle East' magazine awarded HBZ with a special prize for innovation.
Since its inception, HBZ has seen an increasing
trend in all the business figures including profit. In terms of
profitability, HBZ is number 1 in the list of foreign banks and number
2 among all the banks in the UAE. HBZ is also among the top 5 foreign
banks in UAE based on customer deposits.
Inspite of being a privately owned family bank, HBZ
has been ranked as the 790th largest bank in the world. Out of 1,038
banks in Switzerland, it is placed at no. 31, whereas in real profit
growth, it has been ranked no. 11. The bank follows a conservative
banking approach and places great emphasis on high liquidity at all
times. Due to its conservative policies, the bank is placed at 2nd
position in Switzerland in terms of soundness.