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8 Best Banks In Pakistan

The best banks in Pakistan are not only financial institutions but also pillars of the country’s economy.

When a country is growing at such a quick rate as Pakistan is, the role that banks play in fostering economic expansion, job creation, and the provision of financial services to both people and companies is of the utmost importance.

Customers may find it difficult to choose the financial institution that best meets their requirements due to the abundance of financial institutions now functioning in the nation, each of which has a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will discuss eight of the best banks in Pakistan and emphasize the characteristics that set them apart.

This will allow you to make an educated choice when choosing the bank that will most effectively fulfill your specific financial needs.

If you are still not sure about your financial concerns, seek the help of an expat financial advisor in Pakistan.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

8 Best Banks in Pakistan

1. Habib Bank Limited (HBL)

The Habib Bank was Pakistan’s first commercial bank and became the country’s most well-known financial institution shortly after its founding in 1941.

And when it came time for Pakistan to declare its independence, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah requested that the top management of Habib Bank Limited relocate its bank to Pakistan. They complied with his request, and they brought their operations to the country of Pakistan as well as the city of Karachi.

best banks in pakistan
A scene inside a bank in Pakistan.

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1972, the same year that it moved into its own premises, which it dubbed Habib Bank Plaza and which at the time was the tallest structure in the whole South Asian area and in Pakistan as well.

In terms of assets, Habib Bank Limited was the most significant financial institution in Pakistan making it one of the best banks in Pakistan.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, often known as AKFED, runs HBL, which is one of the biggest banks in operation in Pakistan according to its assets. AKFED also holds the majority of the voting shares in the company.

The bank offers services in the fields of corporate banking, branch banking, retail financing, investment banking services, and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) banking.

Karachi, which is also the name of the city where the company’s headquarters are located, is the capital of Pakistan.

The bank maintains locations around the globe, with branches in a variety of continents and regions, including America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The Karachi Stock Exchange is where shareholders of the bank may buy and sell their shares.

It does business via its extensive branch network that consists of 1751 locations and 2007 automated teller machines.

2. National Bank of Pakistan

The National Bank of Pakistan was established in 1949, and now it is the biggest state-owned bank in Pakistan that is still in operation making it one of the best banks in Pakistan.

It has a worldwide presence in 11 different countries, a vast branch network in Pakistan consisting of over 1509 branches, and representative offices in both China and Canada.

The National Bank of Pakistan has established a vast branch network, with 1450 branches located across Pakistan, and it also has operations in key economic centers outside of the country.

A representative office may be found in each of the following cities: Beijing, Tashkent, Chicago, and Toronto. It has agency relationships with more than three thousand correspondent banks all around the globe.

In the years 2000 and 2006, the Bank saw substantial expansion. In 2016, it was projected that the overall assets were worth PKR 1,799 billion, while the total deposits were worth PKR 1,657 billion. The profit before taxes increased to a total of PKR 37.14 billion.

The earnings that are distributed to each share have increased to PKR 10.69. The rise in profit may be attributed to the robust growth seen in the revenue generated from core banking activities.

The expansion of the loan portfolio combined with an improvement in spreads led to an increase in gross interest revenue to the amount of PKR 114 billion.

The total amount of gross advances reached PKR 781 billion. It includes extending credit to the unbanked market sector via the NBP Karobar program, as well as to small and medium companies, agricultural loan customers, and major corporate clients.

It has implemented a variety of initiatives to make it easier for Pakistanis living abroad to send money home to their families. In 2002, the Bank entered into a deal with Western Union for the purpose of broadening the base for remittances that were properly recorded.

The Bank is responsible for managing public monies and operates as agents for the SBP. Karachi is home to the organization’s main office.

It is a significant participant in the debt-equity market, agro finance, investment banking,  treasury services, and retail financing. The bank also offers banking services to both the commercial and public sectors.

According to the ownership pattern as of December 2017, the State Bank of Pakistan has the majority stake in the bank, giving it voting rights equivalent to 75.20 percent of the total.

3. Meezan Bank

Meezan Bank is Pakistan’s first and biggest Islamic bank. As such, it is one of the best banks in Pakistan.

It began operations in 2002, after receiving the very first Islamic Commercial Banking license ever awarded by the State Bank of Pakistan.

It conducts business in accordance with the tenets of Islamic Shariah law and is renowned for its capacity to produce new products, conduct research on Islamic banking, and provide consulting services.

It boasts the most extensive network of Islamic banking branches in Pakistan. Via its vast retail branch network that spans Pakistan and includes more than 960 locations spread out over more than 300 cities, the company offers a comprehensive selection of Islamic banking products and services.

The Bank has been deemed the Best Islamic Bank in Pakistan by a number of different local and international organisations, for which it has received significant acclaim.

Islamic Finance News (IFN) owned by RED Money Group Malaysia has named Meezan Bank the worldwide winner of ‘Best Islamic Retail Bank’ for 2022.

Meezan Bank is the most prominent Islamic bank in Pakistan and one of the major banks in the nation. This award was presented by Islamic Finance News (IFN).

The Bank also got a perfect score in all six Pakistan-level competitions that were run by the International Fishing News (IFN).

This accomplishment stands as a monument to the unprecedented success of Islamic banking not only in Pakistan but also around the globe, and it represents the Bank’s rising strength in a variety of sectors of operations.

best banks in pakistan
A busy day inside a bank in Pakistan.

Meezan Bank has been recognized as the “Best Islamic Bank in Pakistan” for the last 17 years running. This accolade is a reflection of the bank’s rising strength and capacity to provide innovative banking products that are compatible with Shariah to all different types of consumers.

Meezan Bank is Pakistan’s most prominent Islamic financial institution and ranks among the country’s top financial institutions in terms of the size of its branch network and total deposits.

The Bank’s Capital Adequacy ratio as of December 2017 is 12.89 percent, which is considered to be good. Meezan House in Karachi, Pakistan serves as the organization’s headquarters.

4. Bank Alfalah

Bank Alfalah is one of the best banks in Pakistan. It has a network of more than 850 branches spread out throughout more than 200 locations in the country, and it also has a presence internationally in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.

Bank Alfalah started its business of providing banking services in the same year that it was established as a public limited company on the 21st of June, 1992. It is now Pakistan’s fifth-largest private bank. It has been in existence since that day.

It maintains operations in more than 719 locations throughout Pakistan and also has a presence abroad in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Bahrain in addition to a representative office in the United Arab Emirates.

Also, there is a representative office for the bank located in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Group is the owner of Bank Alfalah and the organization that runs the bank.

The Abu Dhabi Group is both the owner of and the operator of the Bank. Via its extensive portfolio of goods and services, the company offers various financial solutions to individual customers, as well as to organizations, institutions, and governments.

The Bank has made investments in cutting-edge technology in order to provide a comprehensive selection of goods and services to its customers as a result of its recent merger with the banking of Abu Dhabi group and the strategic objectives that have been established by its board of management.

The Bank offers consumers, corporations, institutions, and governments a vast array of financial products and services, such as securities brokerage, consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, Islamic and asset financing, and commercial, SME, and agro finance.

VIS and PACRA have assigned the entity a long-term rating of AA+ (double A plus) and a short-term rating of A1+ (A one plus), with a stable prognosis. The Bank is publicly traded on Pakistan’s stock exchange.

The Bank owns 61.20 percent of Alfalah CLSA Securities (Private) Limited (formerly Alfalah Securities (Private) Limited), a company engaged in stock brokerage, investment counseling, and fund placements.

The Bank holds a 40.22 percent stake in Alfalah GHP Investment Management Limited, which is registered under the Non-Banking Finance Companies (Establishment and Regulation) Regulations as an Asset Management Company and Investment Advisor.

Karachi, in the country of Pakistan, is where the bank’s main office is located.

5. United Bank Limited

United Bank Limited (UBL) is both one of Pakistan’s oldest and biggest commercial banks operating in the country’s private sector. It was established in 1959. It is a part of the British business Bestway Group.

It has a presence in more than 19 countries outside of Pakistan and works via a widespread network that spans all of Pakistan and includes more than 1390 branches.

Karachi, Pakistan is where its headquarters are located. It has more than 1,400 branches all throughout Pakistan, 19 branches in other countries, and a client base that exceeds 4 million people, making it one of the biggest banks in the private sector of Pakistan.

The bank has an asset base that is more than $15 billion, a worldwide staff that is approximately 13,233 individuals strong, and a diverse customer base that spans a wide range of market niches and business sectors all over the world.

The bank specializes in a variety of financial services, including  Treasury Services, Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Corporate Banking, and so on, and it has an impressive financial profile as well as a constant record of success.

There are three stock markets in Pakistan, and the ordinary shares of the bank are listed on all of them. The London Stock Exchange Professional Securities Market and the UK Listing Authority both include the company’s Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) on their respective lists of eligible securities.

The London Stock Exchange’s International Order Book System is another venue where these GDRs may be traded if they meet the requirements.

In addition, the issuance of GDRs constitutes an offering in the United States that is restricted to accredited investors and conducted in accordance with Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933 of the United States, as well as an offering outside of the United States that is conducted in accordance with Regulation.

More than 10,000 individuals are employed by the bank, which is dedicated to giving its customers the very best banking experience possible.

UBL operates a branch network and maintains a physical presence in 12 countries and four continents, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, the United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland, China, Oman, Tanzania, Iran, and Pakistan. These nations are served by wholesale and retail banking services provided by UBL.

UBL has been given the status of domestic systemically significant bank (D-SIB) by the State Bank of Pakistan for the year 2020.

6. Bank Al Habib Limited

The Dawood Habib family owns Bank Al Habib Limited, a commercial bank with headquarters in Karachi, Pakistan. It is regarded as one of the most important financial institutions and best banks in Pakistan.

The bank has a branch network that consists of more than 1075 branches spread out in 408+ cities in Pakistan, in addition to six branches located in nations all over the globe.

In addition to that, they have wholesale locations in the countries of Bahrain, Seychelles, and Malaysia, as well as offices in the United Arab Emirates, Istanbul, Beijing, and Kenya.

The bank’s total assets reached Rs. 2.29 trillion (US$7.9 billion) as of the end of the year 2021, representing a growth of 68% compared to the previous year.

The bank has established correspondent banking relationships with the following foreign financial institutions: The Royal Bank of Canada in Canada; Banco di Roma in Italy; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Hong Kong; Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank in Germany; and American Express Bank in the United States.

The bank adheres to the online banking code known as NetBanking, and Verisign is responsible for providing security.

This was made possible by a contract that was established with TPS Pakistan. As a consequence of the memorandum of understanding that was struck between MNET and 1-Link, the bank now supports the MNET Switch.

Customers are able to do financial transactions at any ATM belonging to a partner bank thanks to the 1-Link system, which has eleven partners and is an interbank ATM sharing network. Bank AL Habib is one of those partners.

With 196 automated teller machines (ATMs), Bank AL Habib is the third biggest ATM service provider in Pakistan. However, the bank has the highest concentration of ATMs in the city of Karachi.

The bank has two different varieties of MasterCard available, and it is affiliated with Arab Financial Services.

AL Habib Capital Markets (Pvt) Ltd is a brokerage firm that operates under the brand name of Bank AL Habib. The bank has a significant ownership position in the company.

7. Muslim Commercial Bank

MCB Bank Ltd is both one of Pakistan’s oldest and most successful financial institutions, making it as one of the best banks in Pakistan.

Established in 1947, it went through a period of nationalization in 1974 as part of the economic reform movement led by the Government of Pakistan and then went through a period of privatization in 1991.

Nishat group, a prominent business conglomerate, owns the majority of the shareholdings in MCB Bank. Nishat Group has diversified interests in a variety of industries, including agriculture, power generation, banking, insurance, dairy, cement, automobile manufacturing, textiles, paper products, and hotel business.

In 2006, the Bank of China issued Global Depositary Receipts, or GDRs, in an effort to participate in the international financial markets. It is notable for being the first Pakistani bank to have its global depositary receipts listed on the London Stock Exchange.

best banks in pakistan
People are seen inside a bank in Pakistan.

The Bank engaged into a strategic collaboration with Maybank, Malaysia, in 2008. Maybank, Malaysia, has an 18.78% share in MCB via Maybank International Trust (Labuan) Berhad.

Through the merger arrangement of NIB Bank with and into MCB Bank Limited, Fullerton Financial Holdings (International) of Singapore bought a 5.49% interest in MCB in 2017 via Bugis Investments (Mauritius) Pte Ltd.

MCB is the first bank in Pakistan to establish MCB Islamic Bank Limited, a fully-owned Islamic banking subsidiary.

This was done in order to satisfy the demands of a sizeable portion of society for financial solutions that are compliant with Shariah laws. Additionally, it was done to express our belief in the potential of the Islamic banking sector in the nation.

The bank has a robust and extensive network in Pakistan, with more than 1,400 branches and more than 1,450 automated teller machines (ATMs), as well as a foothold in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sri Lanka.

MCB Bank is the market leader in the banking and financial services industry in Pakistan, with a client base of more than 8 million people. Customers all over the world have access to MCB Bank through our world-class internet banking service, which is available around the clock.

The banking institution as a whole manages Pakistan’s second-largest branch network, which has more than 1,600 locations.

The PACRA has assigned the Bank the highest possible local credit ratings, which are categorised as AAA for the long term and A1+ for the short term accordingly.

The bank has won the coveted Euromoney Award for Best Investment Banks in Pakistan for the last two years in a row (2016 and 2017).

Throughout the Middle East, South Asia, Pakistan, and Eurasia, it offers commercial banking services as well as other goods and services connected to banking.

The bank has a client base of roughly 4 million people and total assets of approximately 1.91 trillion Pakistani Rupees in 2021.

It also has an extensive branch network consisting of more than 1400 locations. The city of Lahore in Pakistan serves as the location of the bank’s main office.

8. Askari Bank

On October 9, 1991, Askari Bank was established as a public limited company in Pakistan. This event took place in Pakistan. The Fauji Foundation organization is the owner of it and controls it completely. 

It started doing business on April 1st, 1992, and its primary focus is on the banking industry, as that term is defined in the Banking Companies Ordinance, which was passed in 1962. The bank’s shares may be purchased via the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

The success of the bank can be deduced from the fact that it was named the “Best Retail Bank in Pakistan” in both 2004 and 2005, in addition to taking home the title for “Best Consumer Internet Banking” in both 2002 and 2003.

The bank’s headquarters are located in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and it has over 500 automated teller machine locations and over 150 branches located in key cities throughout Pakistan. Additionally, the bank has a workforce that numbers close to or over 7,000 people.

Since the beginning of its operations, the bank has placed a primary emphasis on expansion by enhancing the quality of its customer service, making investments in both technology and personnel, and making the most of its wide branch network, which includes Islamic banking as well as conventional banking.

Final Thoughts

The best banks in Pakistan are not just limited to the top names in the industry, but also include smaller and emerging banks that are striving to make a mark in the financial landscape of the country.

Each bank has its own unique features, ranging from cutting-edge technology and innovative products to exceptional customer service and personalized solutions. Ultimately, the choice of the best bank in Pakistan will depend on your individual financial needs and priorities.

So, take the time to research and compare different banks, read reviews and customer feedback, and make an informed decision that will help you achieve your financial goals. 

Remember, the right bank can make a significant difference in your financial journey, so choose wisely and enjoy a prosperous future.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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