Country facing shortage of competent Sharia-based bankers: Hussain Lawai
Summit Bank is set to achieve its target of becoming a complete Islamic Bank by end of 2017 amid numerous challenges and stiff competition within the industry, Hussain Lawai CEO and President of Summit Bank said. Talking to a group of journalists, he said the regulatory regime is tough in Pakistan which slows down ultimately the conversion process of the Bank from conventional system to Sharia-base.
The bank is currently operating with 17 fullfledged branches of Islamic Banking mode with new and relocated ones are purely Sharia-based in its operation, however, there is long way to go to convert the whole bank, which we will definitely do on time, Lawai added. It took one and half year to explain to central bank that 4 million banks accounts are needed to transfer from one mode to another, he mentioned describing as a main challenge.
The bank is seemingly being treated as Islamic window of conventional bank though we are a complete Islamic bank in making. The central bank is doing well but its system and process are not at par with our speed which influence adversely on the conversion of banks, he said. Summit Bank is currently operating with 192 branches across the country with major network is situation in major cities and urban areas to give qualitative banking service to customers.
He said we take care about our customers in providing with them cash at places which are safe and helpful. For instance, ATMs of Summit Bank have been installed in busiest shopping places and petrol pumps. Lawai continued briefing about the new safety product of the bank which provided a Summit Bank cardholder an insurance cover.
If over customers are robbed within the 300 meter radius using our ATM service, we provide them cash of Rs 50,000. This is the new products designed to provide financial safety to banking customers but not too many banks do offer this insurance which is unique selling point of our bank. Lawai talked about the brewing challenge of the banking industry which is human resource, saying industry is facing a shortage of competent bankers specially those who can work dedicatedly in Islamic Banks. We need to train our human resource with quality, CEO Summit Bank said, but it needs time as many institutions have been developed to surmount this challenge. Summit Bank is Pakistan's first mid-tier bank which is being converted its operation from conventional to full-fledged Islamic Banking.
The bank successfully managed to book profit of Rs 90 million by end of third quarter despite heavy government taxes as against of Rs 1.13 billion losses it recorded in the similar period of 2014.
The bank availed an opportunity which existed in the fixed income government bonds market due to declining interest rate scenario during the period of nine months in 2015, resulted the company earned Rs 2 on the account of gain on security sale which was previously drawing an income of Rs 211 million. Summit Bank earned revenue of Rs 4.25 billion by end of three quarters 2015 as compared with Rs 2.61 billion in the similar period of 2014.