LAHORE (PR): First Women Bank Ltd. is a unique financial institution and commercial bank of its kind in the world that will complete 25 years of its operation on December 2, 2014.  In 1989 FWBL was incorporated as a Scheduled Commercial Bank under the Companies Ordinance, 1984 as a joint venture of five largest Commercial Banks and Government of Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan now owns majority shareholding (65%)  in the bank. The remaining shares are held by the five big commercial banks – NBP, HBL, MCB, UBL and ABL.The establishment of FWBL was an innovative and bold step conceived by the then Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (Shaheed) who envisioned a bank that would undertake the conduct of all forms of business of Banking Company in a manner designed to meet the special needs of women and to encourage and assist them in promotion and running of trade and industry and practice of profession.

The bank came into being as an affirmative action of the parliament to indicate the Government’s commitment to provide access to half of its popoulation to the formal financial services. FWBL is fully committed to Pakistan’s national and international commitments highlighted in the Beijing Platform for Action, 1995; the National Plan of Action for Women, 1998 and the National Policy for Development & Empowerment of Women.The bank remains true to its roots as a women centered organization and facilitate financial inclusion of  50,779 customers who have availed financing facilities of Rs. 59,863.731 million and 90,000 customers who are maintaining their savings and other business accounts.The Government has selected FWBL for financing loans to women under the Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans which is a great success story in the year 2014 as all loans disbursed under the scheme are used for setting up business and its repayment is 100% regularly.  It is pertinent to mention here that the model of FWBL has been adopted by Tanzania and India in 2009 and 2013 respectively.