STANDARD CHARTERED: THE OLDEST BANKING ENTITY AT I.I.CHUNDRIGAR ROAD

Operating for the last 145 years in Pakistan

SHABBIR H. KAZMI, Special Correspondent
Apr 09 - 15, 2007

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan can be rightly called the largest international commercial bank operating in Pakistan. The Bank has been functioning in the areas now comprising Pakistan for about 145 years. The Bank commenced its operations in Karachi as aback as in 1863. After the acquisition of Union Bank in September 2006, the new entity Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan was incorporated in Pakistan on 30th December 2006 as a subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC. The Bank started year 2007 with a network of more than 115 branches across 22 cities in Pakistan. Standard Chartered employs more than 9,000 employees in its Pakistan operations.

Standard Chartered's core businesses in Pakistan are in Consumer Banking and Wholesale Banking. The Bank is a leader in credit cards, personal loans and also a leading provider of transactional banking, trade finance, and treasury products and services. Bank's success story is based on its ability to provide the clients superior, differentiated financial solutions. This strategy has helped in becoming the market leaders in Pakistan. By continuously assessing customer needs it has been able to introduce innovative products. It was the first international bank to commence Modaraba in 1987 in Pakistan.

CONSULTATIVE APPROACH

The Bank has been following rigorous recruitment and training standards to ensure that staff is able to cater to the most complex financial requirements of the clients. The focal point of the service philosophy has been the consultative approach with each customer. By getting to know them better, the bank has been able to identify customer needs and match these with tailor-made product and service solutions.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is consistently ranked in the top 25 among FTSE-100 companies by market capitalisation. It has a history of over 150 years in banking and operates in many of the world's fastest-growing markets with an extensive global network of over 1,400 branches - including subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures -in over 50 countries in the Asia Pacific Region, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the United Kingdom and the Americas.

As one of the world's most international banks, Standard Chartered employs 60,000 people, representing over 100 nationalities, worldwide. This diversity lies at the heart of the Bank's values and supports the Bank's growth, as the world increasingly becomes one market. With strong organic growth supported by strategic alliances and acquisitions it is driven by the strengths in the balance and diversity of its business, products, geography and people, Standard Chartered is well positioned in the emerging trade corridors of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Bank derives over 90% of its profits from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Serving both Consumer and Wholesale Banking customers worldwide, the Bank combines deep local knowledge with global capability to offer a wide range of innovative products and services as well as award-winning solutions.

Standard Chartered, before acquisition of Union Bank, had two main building. One located near NBP head office and the other near city railway station. The building near NBP comes under 'Protected Buildings' because of its history. Initially Mr. Mohatta owned the building. Then Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah acquired it. Then Standard Charted bought it in 1949. Since then the Bank has kept it in an immaculate. Its exterior has been maintained in its original condition but its interior presents the most sophisticated operational environment of an international bank.

The second building now owned by Standard Chartered Bank is located opposite Habib Bank Plaza. National Grindlays Bank, which then became ANZ GRINDLAYS BANK building, owned this building and at present it is known as Standard Chartered Bank building. The Bank has also maintained this building in an immaculate condition. Over the years its facing has been refurbished regularly and interior provides very congenial working environment.

Looking at the ages old exterior and cosy interior of the buildings owned by Standard Chartered Bank on can say that the Bank follows centuries old banking traditions and systems, which have been updated regularly and supported by state-of-the-art technologies. It also symbolizes that employees are given extensive training and also provided refresher courses to equip them to provide the best care to the clients.