REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE OF ASKARI COMMERCIAL BANK
From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI, Islamabad
Jan 23 - 29, 2006
On the back of remarkable performance of the banking sector portraying a rally of growth led by the private sectors during the year 2005, the Askari Commercial Bank too was not an exception to the growth momentum in the country.
Askari Bank has expanded into a nation-wide presence of 98 branches, and an Offshore Banking Unit in Bahrain. As shared a network of over 800 online ATMs covering all major cities of the country which substantially supports the delivery channels for customer services. The bank had equity of Rs.6.016 billion and total assets of Rs. 107.168 billion, with over 475,000 banking customers, serviced by a total staff of 2,118.
Askari Commercial Bank Ltd was incorporated in Pakistan on October 09, 1991, as a Public Limited Company. It commenced operations on April 1, 1992 and is principally engaged in the business of banking, as defined in the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962. The bank is listed on the Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad stock exchanges and its shares are currently the highest quoted from the new private sector banks in Pakistan.
Askari Commercial Bank celebrated last year its decade of performance marked by growth and expansion in all spheres of its activities during the 10 years (1995-2005). Performance of the bank has been commendable in all respects as is indicated from the following chart.
(Ten years statement can be downloaded from website www.askaribank.com.pk. (Financial statement + Corporate Profile + A decade of Performance).
Askari Bank continues its success in competition. Recently it has once again been given the award of "Best Retail Bank in Pakistan" by the Asian Banker for the 2nd consecutive year. Askari Bank has been given the 1st Consumer Choice Award 2004 for the Commercial Excellence Award for the Commercial Banking Category by the Consumer Association of Pakistan. It has also received the Corporate Excellence Award for the financial sector from the Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) for the year 2002, 2003 and 2004. It has been given "The Best Bank in Pakistan" award by Global Finance magazine twice i.e. for the year 2001 and 2002. It was given the "Best Consumer Internet Bank" award by Global Finance magazine for the years 2002 and 2003. It won the Euromoey and Asiamoney awards as early as 1994, 1996 and 1997. It achieved A!+, the highest possible credit rating, for short term obligations, and its long term rating stood at AA+. It won the prestigious "Best Presented Annual Accounts" award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Pakistan (ICAP), and the Institute of Cost and Management Accounts in Pakistan (ICAMP), for the Services Sector, for the year 2000, 2001, and 2002. It has also received ranking prizes during the last six years from the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) for "The Best Presented Annual Accounts" for the financial sector, in the SAARC region.
Over the years, Askari Bank has proven its strength as a leading banking sector entity with ever increasing commitment to its clients, through a strategic investment in electronic technology. Askari Bank achieved the following firsts in Pakistani banking:
i) The first Pakistani bank to offer online real time banking on a countrywide basis.
ii) The first Pakistani bank with nation-wide network of ATMs.
iii) The first bank in Pakistan, foreign or local, to introduce Internet banking in the country.
iv) The first bank in Pakistan, together with ABN-Amro, to develop an inter-bank switch for the ATMs
v) The first bank in Pakistan to launch Mobile ATM.
Askari Bank offers the following retail products to serve the needs of the consumer market:
•Askari Bank's Value Plus - Rupee Deposit Account.
•Askari Bank's Personal Financing - Loans Scheme
•ASKAR - Auto Loans
•Askari I-Net Banking - Credit Card facility
•Askari Master Card - Credit Card facility
•Askari Travelers Cheques - Rupee Travelers Cheques
•ASKCARD - Debit Card
•ASKPOWER - Prepaid Card
•Askari Bank's Mortgage Finance - Home Loans
•Askari Bank's Business Finance - Business Loans
•SmartCash - Running Finance Facility for Consumers
•Askari Kissan - Agri Finance Programme.
•Askari Bank's Mobile ATM.
Askari Bank has played a commendable role as a corporate citizen. It has made generous contributions in the areas of sports, culture, poverty alleviation, women & childcare, health & medical sciences, education, human development and scientific research.
It has sponsored international squash tournaments where professionals from all over the world participated. Askari Bank has also sponsored various other sports tournaments, including Golf, Polo and swimming at both amateur and professional level. The bank has contributed towards social awareness programs for AIDS, water conservation and blindness, and has promoted the country's cause on international forum by co-sponsoring the first interactive electronic encyclopedia on Pakistan.