IFC to design new SME Banking Business Model for Bank Alfalah – Bank’s service capabilities will strengthen significantly

Karachi, Pakistan, June 11, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group signed an agreement with Bank Alfalah today to design a new SME Banking Business Model for the Bank. This new business model is intended to help further improve financial access to small and medium enterprises in Pakistan and offer financial advisory service through new tools and skills being developed, increasing their ability to repay loans, improve their business practices and hence support the growth of their businesses.

This initiative will greatly strengthen Bank Alfalah’s capabilities to service the bank’s SME customers with extensive solutions and expand its market share in this fast growing segment. Mr. Atif Bajwa, CEO Bank Alfalah said on the occasion, “There is tremendous growth in the small-scale entrepreneurs in Pakistan; however they have been long troubled getting the financing access and right financial advisory services for their financial and banking needs, which limits their growth prospects. Our strategic focus for the coming years is to bridge this gap and become partners for our SME. Our interest in seeking help from IFC is intended to strengthen and refine such capacities and attain the next level of efficiency by offering our customers an assortment of asset and liability products along with dedicated platforms of convenient, easy to use, low cost transaction solutions and advisory services across our far reaching branch network.”

He continued, “IFC carries a rich history of extending specialized services in developing and refining business strategies across various emerging economies around the globe, particularly our region. We are certain that with their assistance and State Bank of Pakistan’s support, we will become fully geared to unleash the promising potential of this significantly under banked sector and the most fundamental source of economic development and growth of the country in the coming years.”

Kaiser Naseem, Head of IFC’s Bank Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa said, “This visionary project by Bank Alfalah will help in bringing SME customers at the forefront of the banking sector’s focus in Pakistan and the success of this joint initiative will surely demonstrate to the financial market the tremendous benefits of serving this segment in the country.”