Amidst testing times for the global economy and persistent challenges and constrained operating environment on the domestic front, Your Bank’s strategic focus on innovation, commitment to deliver customer centric solutions with coordinated action and teamwork continues to deliver positive results and has translated into sustained growth and value creation for all the stakeholders.
Technological advancements and innovations are the key enablers of Your Bank’s strategy in pursuit of achieving service excellence. Your Bank has continued to strengthen delivery channels by deploying cutting edge technologies with a vision to provide outstanding customer services.
Having one of the largest network of ATMs, delivering extensive outreach, internet banking solutions and Call Center Services, Your Bank is vigorously active in deploying mobile banking in the near future. Besides offering a value creation opportunity to tap the large proportion of unbanked population, this new initiative will serve as a step towards greater financial inclusion for the masses who are currently deprived of the ability to participate in economic activities due to minimal or no access to the financial services system of the country.
To complement the overall initiatives, Your Bank is continuously focusing on expanding geographical footprint and improving the existing network infrastructure. In line with our commitment to provide enriched customer experience, Service Quality has been active as the key facilitator and change agent in Your Bank. Strong emphasis and concerted efforts are being made to transform the service culture across all segments of Your Bank.
The changing dynamics of the banking industry and turbulent global and local market conditions have once again brought to limelight the importance of sound risk architecture and control environment in ensuring long-term viability of financial institutions across the globe. The need of the hour is to learn from past experiences and build on systems and processes better equipped to tackle emerging risks.
Your Bank has made significant headway on this front during the past few years, with new initiatives complementing this progress in 2012. This involved critical review and assessment of the loans evaluation criteria, greater insight and depth into understanding the borrowers’ businesses and industry risks and improving loans monitoring mechanism so that stressed borrowers are identified at an early stage. As a result, extensive functionalities have been built into a state of the art Loan Origination System and borrowers’ evaluation criteria methodology. More weightage is now given to borrowers’ qualitative attributes, including Corporate Governance which includes existence of professional management, legal corporate structures, sound business systems and processes etc.
This is an important aspect of loan evaluation often neglected across the industry in the past. Emphasis is now placed on borrowers’ capabilities in managing their projects technically and responsiveness to changes in market conditions. As a policy, financing to a class of borrowers having technologically obsolete machinery and equipment is discouraged.
Own warehouses are being built for enhancing Your Bank’s control over the underlying collateral. These steps while helping to better assess the underlying risks, would also result in creating awareness amongst the industry players and borrowers in managing their business and financial risks, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of financial intermediary function and contribution to the economic development of the country.
Your Bank recognizes the pivotal role of its most valuable assets, its people. We remain fully committed in providing a comprehensive range of training, development and growth opportunities for our employees, which makes Your Bank first choice institution for young professionals.
In recognition of the financial strength, business prospects, market positioning and up-gradation in risk management framework, the Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA) upgraded Your Bank’s long-term entity rating to ‘AA+’, ranking amongst the best in the industry. The JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS), the other domestic rating agency also upgraded the rating of Your Bank’s earlier raised TFC issue.
In appreciation of the efforts and commitment of the Board and Management to instill a sound governance culture and framework at Allied Bank, JCR-VIS has upgraded Your Bank’s Corporate Governance rating to ‘CGR- 8++’ from ‘CGR- 8+’ assigned earlier.
In the year 2013, we would continue to focus on our vision and aim to continue building on solid foundations and setting high standards of performance all round. Your Bank will continue to invest in its human capital, risk management and technological infrastructure platforms. Emphasis would be to deepen existing client relationships, besides exploring new markets and business avenues including Islamic Banking to diversify revenue streams. Product innovations and superior service quality would remain our key objectives. Our endeavor would be to effectively balance the objectives of growth, profitability and risk management.
I want to communicate my appreciation and thanks to the entire team of Allied Bank for their accomplishments during the current challenging times. I thank our customers for entrusting us with more of their business and continuing relationship with us. My thanks go to the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan for their support, trust and guidance. And last, but not the least, I thank the shareholders, for their continued confidence in Allied Bank Limited.
Mohammad Naeem Mukhtar