FIRST WOMEN BANK LTD

The World's only bank for women

Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2005

Established in 1989, First Women Bank Ltd. is a unique institution, one of its kind in the world. A scheduled Commercial Bank and Development Financial Institution managed by women, for women to augment the economic status of women by offering the best financial services and the best banking practices. First Women Bank Ltd. has made an enormous contribution in alleviating poverty from the country, and has been making strides to prove itself as one of the successful bank in the public sector. Economic empowerment of women is its prime objective. FWBL has enhanced socio-economic status of women by creating opportunities for employment and self employment in almost all sectors of the economy.

The Bank with the commitment to excel, takes upon itself the responsibility to achieve the Ultimate — its Vision: "To be the lead bank for women: Dynamic, adaptive and responsive to the special economic needs, offering the best financial services and the best banking practices."

No country can dream of freedom from poverty if its major population does not play their active role. In Pakistan women constitutes 48% of the population and First Women Bank Ltd. the only bank for women is actually laying the foundation of a multifaceted revolution by providing women with the financial and non-financial support. FWBL's main focus is on poorest of poor women both in urban and rural sector. To date 76.7% of the FWBL borrowers are in micro-credit category, 23.2% are in small & medium category and only 0.1% fall under corporate/syndicate loans category. This reflects the model of First Women Bank Ltd. that caters to women at all levels of economic activity.

ROLE OF FWBL TO COMBAT ISSUES FACED BY WOMEN:

FWBL was the pioneering Bank to launch Micro Credit in Pakistan. Women's World Banking in its Global Directory profiled FWBL for Banking Innovation in Microfinance, and acknowledged that the FWBL features among the world's micro finance leaders and that it is a recognized innovator in building financial products that target low income micro entrepreneur.

The Bank till date has disbursed Rs. 8.5 billion (Micro and SME Loans) with the best and maximum outreach by financing 27,851 borrowers, and generating employments for 1.10 billion people, and a high recovery rate of 96%. The Bank believes in "A micro borrower of today is the SME client of tomorrow". The Bank raised the existing Micro Loans ceiling from Rs:25,000 to Rs:100,000 with lowest mark-up and highest recovery rate.

SUPPORT SERVICES FOR WOMEN:

First Women Bank Ltd. developed Computer Literacy and Business Centres at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, which have played a very important role in developing computer and business skills in women who, lacked technical skills and belonged to lower middle income group. To-date 6,364 women have been trained at the computer centers. Almost 5,000 women have learned how to tap business opportunities.

The bank also developed most powerful product Financial Service Desk (FSD) with core purpose to truly identify, support, and empower women in business with five important facets; credit management, trade finance, legal counselling, tax consultancy and marketing — giving them directions to use the loans to their best advantage.

FWBL PRODUCTS

The Bank developed women centric products which are:

•Business loan for women
•Home loans
•Car loan
•Personal Loan for Women
•Loans for Consumer Durable
•Education Loan

WOMEN DIRECTORY

The Bank is in the process of developing a Business and Professional Women's Directory, to strengthen linkages, networking and better outreach for women.

FINANCIAL TURNAROUND OF FWBL:

The Bank demonstrated phenomenal Financial Turnaround from June 2001 to December 2004 and accomplished the highest ever results in all key components over the last 15 years.

•Deposits increased from Rs. 3.4 billion in 2000 to Rs. 8.7 billion in 2004
•Advances increased from Rs. 604 million in 2000 to Rs. 1.7 billion in 2004
•Balance sheet size / Total Assets increased from Rs. 3.87 billion to Rs. 9.67 billion,
•Net asset value per share increased from Rs. 5.50 in 2000 to Rs. 20.41 in 2004
•The accumulated losses of Rs. 138 million as of Dec. 2000 were wiped out in 2003. Bank issued 20% Bonus Shares to the shareholders, which increased the paid up Capital from Rs. 200 to Rs:283 million.

The profits earned by the bank (1989 to 2000) in 11 years were Rs: 282 million as against profits (2001 to 2004) amounting to Rs:744 million earned in last 4 years. This shows that the Bank is upwardly mobile and progressing at a fast pace.

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency has upgraded the long and short term credit ratings from 'BB' to 'AA' and from 'B' to 'A1+', respectively. The rating demonstrates the Bank's sustainability and financial strength

COLLABORATIONS WITH INTERNATIONAL & LOCAL AGENCIES:

The Bank entered into collaboration with international and local agencies, to support its activities for skill development and micro credit for women as well as for capacity building and infrastructure strengthening of the Bank:

•FWBL - ILO/IPEC - International Program for Elimination of Child labour for combating child labour in carpet weaving industry.

As a result of community organization:

•42 micro businesses were identified,
•119 Groups for Income Generation (GIG) have been formed,
•976 families financed, to the extent of Rs. 9.904 million in 64 Villages, who were living below poverty line,
•Non-Formal Education schools for children of Carpet Weaving Children were established in 160 villages in Sheikhupura and Gujranwala Districts,
•449 women have been trained in skills with income generating potential,
•Loan recoveries rate is 100%.
•FWBL is soon going to open its first rural banking booth for the needs of rural women.
•CIDA — for training of women bankers and supporting of Financial Services Desks at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

 The Bank partnered and financed NGO 'Depilex Smile-again', to perform 10 reconstructive surgeries by world acclaimed foreign reconstructive surgeons on acid and kerosene burnt women victims.

FUTURE STRATEGY OF FIRST WOMEN BANK LIMITED

•10% of the Bank's portfolio will be allocated for Micro Finance
•Skill Development programme for Rural and Urban Women
•The Urban and Rural Poor women will be provided Educational Loans worth Rs:25,000/- each.

FWBL will continue to work for a new era of economic prosperity in the years to come. To transform the status of women from passive beneficiaries of social services to dynamic economic agents.