KARACHI - The financial sector is instrumental in the national development of a country. The role of the institutions contributing to this sector in various forms needs to be not only highlighted but duly acknowledged.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Tariq Bajwa stated this while speaking at the launching ceremony of the 3rd Pakistan Banking Awards 2018 here in Karachi at the IBP head office on Wednesday.

He appreciated the organisers for holding the annual Pakistan Banking Awards and said it is a delightful occasion for him to announce the launching of the 3rd Pakistan Banking Awards, 2018.

While talking to media in the event, he said, “All stakeholders involved in low cost housing financing have been consulted to highlight the difficulties, so we could framework the policy for the financing. After the analysis and formation of policy, low cost housing financing will grow in the country. The Institute of Bankers Pakistan in collaboration with A.F Ferguson & Co. (AFF) took this initiative and it has provided a platform to recognise the contribution of institutions making a marked difference in the world of banking.”

"I strongly encourage maximum participation by banks and supporting institutions; and would like to see more and more entrants actively participating in this event every year. These awards will showcase their efforts in promoting and projecting Pakistan as a progressive nation that is advancing towards economic stability and developing into a welfare state," he said.

While expressing his appreciation for the jury, he said, “As in previous years, I am positive that in order to ensure transparency and independence at all levels, the honorable jury would maintain the secrecy and nominations would be made on merit.”

"These awards honour and promote the efforts of banks for developing new and innovative products and services, while giving them the incentive to enhance their performance for the coming year. They encourage banks to gauge their standing within the industry by setting benchmarks. Most importantly, they inculcate a spirit of healthy competition as the awards are a great source pride for the winning institutions, he concluded.”

Chief Executive IBP Hussain Lawai said the Pakistan Banking Awards 2018 will no doubt, once again, serve as a distinguished platform to promote, recognise and acknowledge the contribution of the banking industry towards enhancing Pakistan's economy.

He also announced the jury and said, "Jury for Pakistan Banking Awards 2018 comprises of Dr Ishrat Husain (chairman of the jury), former governor State Bank of Pakistan, Atif Bajwa, former president/CEO Bank Alfalah Limited, Naved A. Khan, former president/CEO Faysal Bank Limited, Atif R Bukhari, former president/CEO United Bank Limited, Dr Farrukh Iqbal, dean and director, Institute of Business Administration, Ehsan Ali Malik, chief executive officer and director, Pakistan Business Council, and Dr Zeelaf Munir, managing director & chief executive officer, English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt) Ltd".

He also added that this year, one new category "Best Emerging Bank" has been added while the name of the category "Best Bank for Corporate Finance & Capital Market Development" has been changed to "Best Investment Banking"; all other award categories remaining the same.