Bank Alfalah and USAID to Provide Access to Credit for Small and Medium Enterprises

Under the “US Pakistan Partnership for Access to Credit” initiative, Bank Alfalah has recently partnered with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide financial services to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) across Pakistan. This 8-year collaboration will provide support to entrepreneurs, help create new jobs and facilitate broad based economic growth in the country. Under this partnership, the United States will provide $10 million that will back $60 million worth of loans given by partnering banks to SMEs in Pakistan.

The SME sector plays a pivotal role in the economic growth of Pakistan, contributing to more than 30 percent of GDP and over 70 percent to the overall employment in the country. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, SMEs face tremendous challenge in getting the right set of facilities and services and less than 10 percent of SMEs have access to any formal credit from the Banking sector.

Speaking about the partnership, Head of SME at Bank Alfalah, Mr. Javed Iqbal said “Bank Alfalah focuses on understanding the holistic needs of our customers and providing complete banking solutions that meet the financial, non-financial, transactional, investment and advisory needs of our SME customers”. He added that “the Bank strives to enhance inclusion of the unbanked masses into the financial mainstream”.

Bank Alfalah is the first Bank in Pakistan to have launched an SME Toolkit. Through this unique and one-of-its-kind offering, the Bank provides business development tools and knowledge to SME customers across Pakistan enabling them to make better and more informed business decisions.

USAID has entered into agreement with Bank Alfalah, JS Bank, Khushhali Bank and The First MicroFinanceBank.

About Bank Alfalah:

Since its inception, Bank Alfalah has grown rapidly to become Pakistan’s fifth largest private bank, the largest issuer and acquirer of credit cards and one of the largest Islamic Banking businesses in the country. The Bank has a network of over 600 branches spanning more than 200 cities with presence in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bahrain in addition to a representative office in the UAE. The Bank serves more than 1 million corporate, retail, small business, agricultural, Islamic and asset financing customers.

For more details, visit www.bankalfalah.com

About USAID

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the U.S. Government agencies and is working to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

The primary focus of the U.S. civilian-assistance program is to develop a stable, secure and tolerant Pakistan with a vibrant economy. Working with other U.S. agencies, as well as donors and international development partners, USAID has focused its program over the last year on five areas essential to Pakistan’s stability and long-term development and reflective of Pakistani priorities: energy, economic growth, stabilization, education and health.

For more details, visit http://www.usaid.gov/pakistan