July 26 - Aug 1, 20

Khalid Bin Shaheen, the Senior Executive Vice President & Group Chief, Global Home Remittances Management Group, National Bank of Pakistan blessed with a pleasant personality is approaching professionally to streamline overseas workers remittances through National Bank.

Overseas Pakistani workers wrote history by remitting the highest-ever amount of nearly $8.906 billion in the fiscal year (2009-10) and $841.44 million only in June 2010.

The National Bank working in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan and its guidelines for promoting home remittances has major share of the total remittances mainly because of the team spirit and of course dynamic personality of Khalid Bin Shaheen who frequently visits the Middle East including Saudi Arabia to have a direct interaction with the overseas Pakistanis. During meetings with Pakistanis abroad Khalid is doing a great job to encourage and motivate Pakistani workers to use banking channels especially the strong network of National Bank for remitting to their homeland with a greater ease and ease. NBP, it may be noted, has an effective branch network in that part of the world, said Khalid Shaheen.

He was of the view that home remittances could assume a greater role in streamlining external flows provided the overseas workers given more incentives and properly guided to use banking channels for remittances.

When asked whether efforts of the banking sector or sense of insecurity created by tightened security and screening of bank accounts of overseas workers resulted in remarkable increase in inflows through banking channels?

He agreed that the disturbed conditions due to war on terror, money laundering campaign all over the world and the rupee depreciation against dollar were the major cause of streamlining the inflows of home remittances to Pakistan. However, the role of the banking sector cannot be underestimated because the introduction of innovative financial products, swift transfer of money and better customer services equally contributed to enhance the remittances, he said.

Khalid said with a sense of achievement that perception of the NBP is second to none which gives a sense of security to the customers. It may be noted that NBP has outperformed all the banks in Pakistan with the selection among the "TOP 1000 banks 2010 by the banker Magazine of UK on the basis of soundness, profit and performance. NBP based on Tier 1 Capital Strength was awarded as the top bank in Pakistan.

It is said that a good face is the passport to success. Khalid also a television and film celebrity is widely known from grass root level to the elite not only in Pakistan but abroad also. This natural gift also helped elevating his professional career as a senior banker to deliver impressively for the cause of the country and his bank in particular.

Khalid was of the opinion that overseas Pakistani would assume a bigger role in the days to come with their contraposition towards the economic recovery of Pakistan by remitting more and more to their homland.

It is worth mentioning that overall remittances received in FY10 showed an impressive increase of 14 percent when compared with the previous highest amount of $7.811 billion received in FY09. Similarly, the amount of $841.44 million received in June 2010 beat the previous record of $806.12 million received in September 2009.

It may be pointed out that the State Bank, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis had undertaken a joint initiative called 'Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI)' with a view to facilitating the flow of remittances through formal channels. In this regards a number of steps have been taken by PRI which have started to materialise and remittances through formal channels are showing considerable growth. It may also be mentioned Pakistan has been reported as a top nation, which has shown the highest growth in the world in remittances despite recent global financial crisis.

It is interesting to note that the target of remittances in the Annual Plan for FY10 was $7 billion while the State Bank has projected in its Third Quarterly Report that the country would receive $8.5 - $9 billion dollars.

The inflow of remittances in the July 2009 to June 2010 period from UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), UK and EU countries amounted to $2,038.57 million, $1,917.66 million, $1,771.19 million, $1,237.87 million, $876.38 million and $252.22 million respectively, as compared to $1,688.59 million, $1,559.56 million, $1,735.87 million, $1,202.65 million, $605.59 million, and $247.66 million respectively in the July 2008 to June 2009 period. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during FY10 amounted to $810.98 million as against $771.03 million in FY09.

During the last month i.e. June 2010, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), UK and EU countries amounted to $199.35 million, $196.38 million, $164.83 million, $105.84 million, $82.47 million, and $22.48 million respectively, as compared to corresponding receipts from the respective countries during June, 2009 i.e. $152.33 million, $164.70 million, $154.39 million, $108.11 million, $68.48 million and $22.95 million. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, and other countries during June, 2010 amounted to $70.10 million compared to $64.19 million during June, 2009.