Coun­try fac­ing short­age of com­pe­tent Sharia-based bankers: Hus­sain Lawai

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - Muham­mad Yasir

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.

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